Education

More News | |

Boys and Girls Club of the CSRA program aims to prevent high school dropouts

Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 7:55 PM
Last updated Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 6:11 PM
  • Follow Latest News

Seventh-grade pupil Deanté Gibbons has his eye on the prize: high school graduation.

Back | Next
Deanté Gibbons meets with Jeremy McCoy daily to review his school day as part of Be Great: Graduate.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Deanté Gibbons meets with Jeremy McCoy daily to review his school day as part of Be Great: Graduate.

Deanté knows he must stay in school and become something greater than his fears. A shy, 12-year-old breaking out of his shell, Deanté is determined not to become an alcoholic or addict.

“I think of someone who doesn’t believe in himself and is a quitter,” the pupil said when asked about people who drop out of high school.

Inspiring Deanté to believe and never quit is a goal shared by the pupil and his mentor at the W.T. Johnson Boys and Girls Club on the back side of Cherry Tree Crossing. Deanté’s mentor, Jeremy McCoy, is keeping track of his academic progress and leadership development as part of a program targeting young people most at risk of dropping out.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the CSRA is entering the third of a four-year program called Be Great: Graduate.

Mentors paired with pupils in grades five through eight evaluate the pupils weekly for school attendance, behavior and course failure, said Brittany Dixon, the compliance specialist for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the CSRA.

Pupils in the program qualify if they live in a single-parent household, come from a low socioeconomic background, fail reading or math, or have a disability. Pupils must meet just one of the requirements, Dixon said.

Deanté, who attends Collins Kindergarten Through Eighth Grade School, has no problems with absenteeism, and he scores mostly A’s and B’s, McCoy said. Mentoring has focused on developing leadership skills.

“At this age, character and leadership are the groundwork these children need,” said McCoy, a lead teacher at the club.

McCoy has helped Deanté progress from a general member to the vice president of Torch Club, a leadership group within the Boys and Girls Club. On Thursday, they reviewed the club’s meeting agenda and Deanté’s responsibilities.

McCoy and Deanté meet daily for a 15-minute one-on-one session to review his school day. Deanté also becomes McCoy’s helper when setting up projects and assignments for younger pupils. The program requires only a weekly meeting.

McCoy was a high school dropout himself. He remembers working a temporary job at age 19 and his employer saying he wouldn’t be hired full time because he lacked a high school diploma. McCoy eventually earned his GED, associate and bachelor’s degree. He plans to get a master’s in social psychology.

The tracking requirement of Be Great: Graduate helps McCoy recognize areas that need greater attention. McCoy, who mentors four other pupils, knows Deanté must improve his social studies grade. Another pupil has a school attendance problem, and a third has behavioral and attitude issues.

“You can see where their weaknesses are and where their strengths are,” McCoy said.

Pupils at four Augusta area clubs are participating in Be Great: Graduate.

“The vision is that every child is promoted every year to the next grade level,” Dixon said. “They graduate from high school and they are fully prepared to achieve real world success.”

BECOME A MENTOR

The Boys and Girls Club of the CSRA needs volunteer mentors for its programs. Mentors must meet background screenings and be available at least one hour each week.

For more information, call the volunteer coordinator at (706) 504-4071.

Comments (10) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
daviddunagan
331
Points
daviddunagan 01/19/13 - 09:21 am
3
1
Mr. Jeremy McCoy is a real life hero

Men like this change the world. Him giving his time and talents to young Deante will have everlasting results. If we only had more Mr. McCoys!

Riverman1
82450
Points
Riverman1 01/19/13 - 07:26 am
2
1
An Effective Program

There are two only two ways to break the negative pattern of underperforming students in the inner cities. Some type of Head Start is one and mentoring is the other.

daviddunagan
331
Points
daviddunagan 01/19/13 - 09:26 am
5
1
River- consider a third

An active, responsible, giving and loving father in the home.

Riverman1
82450
Points
Riverman1 01/19/13 - 10:28 am
2
1
David, I do rate that highly,

David, I do rate that highly, but that's not something an educational program can provide. But you are right to note its importance.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 01/19/13 - 10:55 am
0
0
Success measures?
Unpublished

What constitutes the "control factor" in evaluating success in this program. While this effort may be a start in the right direction, who is tracking the "lack of mentoring"? A placebo? Double blind documentation. Goals met with mentoring. Goals not met without mentoring. Subjective social engineering. Where are the two study groups? More "fluff" for the taxpayers to absorb. Shifting the responsibility of raising children from the home and church to the STATE. We all do live in "third world village".

countyman
19745
Points
countyman 01/19/13 - 12:08 pm
4
3
The city, Kroc Center, Boys &

The city, Kroc Center, Boys & Girls Club, non profits, local community, and sheriffs office must all work together to improve the quality of life for at risk youth.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/19/13 - 01:15 pm
3
1
If it works duplicate it.....

If it works duplicate it.

Remember, Keep tight control of the process ownership to guarantee continued success.

Riverman1
82450
Points
Riverman1 01/19/13 - 02:27 pm
4
1
It's a Specific Program

OC, it's a program that works and is not some generalization without specifics. I used to see Dr. Mac Bowman, a black cardiologist at University, take two young black guys with him on Saturdays when he made rounds. The young guys dressed up with ties and you could just see the self-respect oozing into them because Mac was their guy and cared about them. That was powerful stuff. I'll bet more than a few of those boys turned out great.

seenitB4
85829
Points
seenitB4 01/19/13 - 03:01 pm
2
1
Thank you Dr Mac Bowman

More Dr Bowmans & we would see fewer breakins & crime.....& thank you RM for putting that on here.....That Dr is doing exactly what needs to happen to change the young minds...
I also placed that on another forum .....it needs to be seen..

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/19/13 - 06:12 pm
1
0
Riverman - Totally agree

Like I said, If it works duplicate it.
We need more of these programs.

The problem is once something is found to work too many people jump in and Co-opt, it and the original plan loses focus.

Hence my maybe too brief statement ....
Keep tight control of the process ownership to guarantee continued success.

Via
4
Points
Via 01/20/13 - 12:11 am
1
0
The Real McCoy

The generosity of men like Mr. McCoy who use their education, time, talents, and real life experiences to give back to the community and improve the life of our youth is a rare quality that I hope will inspire others to give back in their own unique way.

Back to Top

Top headlines

UGA jumps up in 2 polls

The University of Georgia made the second-biggest jump of all the teams in the two national ranking polls, both of which were released Tuesday.
Search Augusta jobs