Four Overview Perspectives on Engaging Students

Ensuring that students stay engaged in school and the education process itself does not lend itself to one simple technique. Nor is there any one technique that can be used to engage every student. In fact, as many students as are in a given classroom is often the same number of techniques needed to keep those students engaged—and in school.

This session will present four overviews of techniques to keep students engaged in school. While there is no one-size-fits-all technique, these short segments will offer ideas and implications for student engagement that can be adopted and adapted in the full range of K-12 classroom settings. Additional information regarding the techniques presented by each participant will be available through the participants’ Web sites.

This broadcast features:

• Dr. and Mr. Pauley present an overview of the value of establishing positive relationships with students, and how to engage and motivate them to achieve measurable improvement in behavior and academic achievement.

• Ms. Stacey DeWitt and Ms. Elayne Bennett remark on the “culture shift” that has subsequently redirected student motivation from intrinsic to extrinsic and the value of socio-emotional learning in engaging students as a result of this shift.

• Dr. Jean Strait discusses eservice-learning as an effective student engagement practice using eservice-learning in the aftermath of the Katrina flooding as an example.

• Ms. J Ross Parrelli engages students through mentorships designed to encourage students’ creativity through producing and performing hip hop combined with acquiring real-life business management skills.



Elayne Bennett, President and Founder
Best Friends Foundation, Washington, DC

Stacey DeWitt, J.D., Co-founder and CEO
Connect With Kids, Atlanta, GA

Jean Strait, Ph.D., Author and Professor of Teacher Education
Hamline University, MN

Judith Pauley, Ph.D., Consultant
Process Communications, Inc.
Joe Pauley, Consultant
Process Communications, Inc.

J Ross Parrelli, Recording Artist and Founder
Beats Lyrics Leaders

Keeping Youth In School – How Service-Learning Can Help!

The National Dropout Prevention Center has long advocated service-learning as a teaching methodology with considerable potential to prevent dropouts. Today’s program will give you an overview of service-learning and just how to effectively incorporate specific strategies to promote youth engagement in the service-learning process in order to foster their resilience.

  • Learn about the principles of service-learning and how it can engage students in their learning.
  • Discover how it can develop leadership and workplace skills as well as foster resilience.


Presentation Slides  pdf

Bridgeland, J. M., DiIulio, Jr., J. J., & Wulsin, S. C. (2008).  Engaged for Success: Service-Learning as a Tool for High School Dropout PreventionWashington, D.C. : Civic Enterprises.

National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. (2008).

National Youth Leadership Council (2005).  Service-Learning Cycle pdf.

National Youth Leadership Council (2008).  Service-Learning Standards pdf.

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2012).  The Linking Learning With Life Series of Service-Learning Guidebooks.

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2008).  Video: 2008 Youth Spirit of Service Award Winner, Nick Metrakos talks about service-learning.

Video: Bring Learning to Life(2008).

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2008).  Video: The late Bernard Gill talks about engaging African American males through service-learning.

Service-Learning: A Dropout Prevention Strategy and MORE!

Real, relevant, engaging – an excellent formula for students to move toward success.

How does service-learning bring together best teaching strategies to create authentic education, provide meaning and purpose, and motivate youth to be involved? And why do these elements keep our youth in school and move them from surviving to thriving?

Across this country, service-learning is increasingly viewed as an effective part of a dropout prevention plan. Find out:

  • What is service-learning?
  • How does service-learning work?
  • What practical ideas can be put to use to see results?

Generate success and build transferable skills that lead to inner confidence all youth need to succeed and to thrive! Keep in mind that service-learning is academic, rigorous, and filled with genuine opportunities for students to apply their ideas, interests, skills, and talents toward the common good – a win-win for all involved.

Internationally renowned speaker and author Cathryn Berger Kaye brings years of experience as a classroom teacher and program developer of service learning ideas and practices that are used across the country. She is known for providing easy-to-use information built on substantial proven strategies that bring classrooms to life. Who benefits? Students, and their teachers, schools, and families – and the communities they impact.

Join this radio webcast for good stories, practical ideas, and resources you can use!


Presentation Slides  pdf

ABCD Books and CBK Associates(2010).

Audio: An Invitation from the National Dropout Prevention Center(2009).

Go To Service-Learning(2009).

Learn and Serve America. (2008).

National Service-Learning Clearinghouse(2010)

National Service-Learning Partnership. (2009)

National Youth Leadership Council(2012).

Kaye, C. B. (1998).  Parent Involvement in Service-LearningLinking Learning with Life.

Kaye, C. B. (2010).  Service-Learning: A Dropout Prevention Strategy and MORE! pdf.

Video: Bring Learning to Life. (2008).

What Kids Can Do (WKCD)(2009).

Youth Service America(2010).


Lessons From the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

All children are valuable; none is expendable. But the fact is U.S. high schools lose more than one third of their students before graduation, and the cumulative impact of this attrition affects every person. But, schools can increase their “holding power” by transforming how they recognize students’ inherent value, their contributions, and their potential significance to their communities and society, as a whole.

Dr. Linda Cantu, an IDRA education associate and director of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, will give an overview of this research-based, internationally-recognized dropout prevention program that is keeping more than 98 percent of participating students in school, young people who were previously at risk of dropping out. She will also present seven key lessons from 26 years of the program that can inform efforts to improve the quality of education for all students.


Presentation Slides pdf.

“It Made Me Want to Do Better in School” – Former Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program Tutor Shares His Experience(2005).

25 Years of Effective Dropout Prevention – Five Primary Reasons for the Success of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program(2009).

Coca-Cola Valued Youth College Tours – On the Road to College Success(2006).

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – Strengthening Student Connections with School(2006).

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program 2010 Essay Contest Winner – Kwame’ Weatherall(2010).

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program web site.

Continuities – Lessons for the Future of Education from the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program(2009).

Montecel, M. R. (2009).  Continuities: Lessons for the Future of Education from the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program pdfSan Antonio, TX : Intercultural Development Research Association.

Five Supporting Reasons for the Success of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program in Dropout Prevention(2009).

Montecel, M. R. (2008).  Valuing Brazilian Youth: IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program in Latin AmericaThe International Journal on School Disaffection pdf


Service-Learning Districtwide to Increase Students’ Academic Engagement

How can service-learning help make instruction more engaging and help increase the connection students feel to school? Join Michael VanKeulen, the National Youth Leadership Council’s Outreach Director, to discuss NYLC’s work with school district leaders and professional development models aimed at helping districts extend service-learning as a strategy connected to current district initiatives. This webcast will help educators better understand how service-learning applied in a more systemic nature can address a key factor in preventing student dropout, the degree of meaningful student engagement in their academic goals and overall school experience.


Presentation Slides  pdf

Furco, A. (2007).  Advancing Youth Academic Success, School Engagement, and International Leadership through Service-Learning  pdf.

ECS National Center for Learning and Citizenship’s (NCLC) State Policies for Citizenship Education Database(2012).

K-12 Service-Learning Standards and Indicators for Quality Practice.  pdf(2012).

Piscatelli, J. (2006).  Learning that Lasts: Integrating and Sustaining Service-Learning Through Policy, Practice,and Capacity   pdf.

Duckenfield, M., & Drew, S. (2006).  Measure What Matters and No Child Will Be Left Behind  pdf.

National Youth Leadership Council(2012).

NYLC Lift – Raising the Bar for Service-Learning Practice(2012).

Project Ignition(2012).

The Generator School Network(2012).

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2012).  The Linking Learning With Life Series of Service-Learning Guidebooks.

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