Teaching At-Risk Youth

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1. One of the main reasons we need to be concerned with at-risk youth is that if we do not try to help these students they, frankly, will become a drain to society. When they dropout they increase their risk to becoming drug dependent, unemployed, adjudicated end up in jail, and they increase their risk of teen pregnancy. In addition, they will need social services such as welfare and healthcare, both of which are currently over taxed already. We discussed in class that states such as California are using reading scores to anticipate how many new jails they need to build rather than reinvesting that money into the education of those at-risk students. 2. Five key indicators for at-risk youth are: a. Minority, racial or ethnic b. Living in a poverty household c. Living in a single parent home d. Having a poorly educated mother e. Having a non-English language background 3. Alcohol: 50% of students drank alcohol one or more days during the preceding month according to our text. I am not sure what that means though, did they have a sip of the parents’ beverage, they drank a whole drink, did they have a desert or sauce that was made with alcohol, or are half of these kids Catholic (Blood of Christ at Communion)? I do believe that 17% drove after drinking (again you could use some of the same arguments as above), but I think most teens are reckless at this age and just cannot contemplate the repercussions of their actions. What is scary now is that kids do some insane things to their body to get “drunk.” Who thinks to shoot vodka via their eyeball or anus? Kids are now taking shots through their eyes to get drunk quickly. Unfortunately, it is causing kids to have deteriorating eyesight. Drugs: Again, I think som... ... middle of paper ... ...t the text makes a good point on the need to remove the negative influences of a traditional school. When there are outside negative influences such as drugs, gangs, etc. it can be hard for at-risk students to make the right choice. In addition, teacher’s negative influences can discourage students at the traditional school. With that in mind, we have to be flexible with students who are at-risk. As we have discussed in class, these students all come different backgrounds, situations, and they have something that makes them different from the at-risk student next to them. In order for them to be successful we need to have an environment that meets their needs. There needs to be flexible schedules to meet the needs of the students coming to the program. If we try to fit them all into one box, we are not going to see a large amount of success with our students.
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