Richard Yoakley students are all serving long-term suspensions from their base schools. The suspensions typically result from offenses like drugs and fighting. In fact, more than 60 percent of the student population is there due to drug-related offenses. Many students are economically disadvantaged and behind their peers in critical academic areas, like reading.
MDC partners with the school to provide books for the Accelerated Reader Program, incentives for good behavior and grades and positive alternatives to engaging in substance abuse.
AR helps build excitement for reading, boosts reading skills and builds vocabulary.
The AR program has shown some exciting gains this year. Between January and June 2013, the average reading level of students participating in the program rose from a 6th-7th grade level to a 9th-10th grade level. That’s 2.7 grade levels!
MDC’s coalition gives its time during Richard Yoakley’s social skills hours. Volunteers go into classrooms for two 30 minute sessions to speak about a variety of topics, from how to write a resume to conflict resolution to stress management. Thanks to these volunteers, students are encouraged to think critically about much-needed topics and gain information that they would not have otherwise received.