The aim of this pilot project is to measure the effectiveness of research supported best teaching practices using venues of popular culture such as hip-hop music, video, projects, discussion, comedy, peer teaching, dance, sports, drama, and drawing.
A three-week pilot project was conducted at Community Day School in Victorville CA during the summer of 2013. The primary purposes of the pilot project were to get specific feedback to revise the program, and to get an initial measure of the appeal and effectiveness of the program. The pilot project consisted of 15, one and a half hour sessions. In the sessions participants: watched a movie, discussed topics of the movie, and completed participant projects/activities.
The 19 participants included 13 males and six females, 10 African Americans and nine Hispanic Americans. Two participants were in the ninth grade, five in 10th, nine in 11th, and three in 12th. The sample consisted of individuals predominately in lower SES. Many participants experienced behavioral challenges in the general high school setting.
The participants responded to survey questions such as, "How good was this part of the lesson?", and "What do you remember about it?" The participants rated each lesson part using a Likert scale from zero (it was not good at all) to 10 (it was very good). The survey questions were a measure of the appeal and effectiveness of the lesson parts.
Results include: 80.99% of the responses were average or above (5 or higher) and 58.43% of the responses were above average (6 or higher). Some written comments/things learned include: "I pray this message doesn't fall on deaf ears", "When you argue w/an idiot, & go on too long, you become an idiot as well.", "Do your homework before you party."
The results are very encouraging. They support the appeal of the topics and perhaps to a greater degree, the methods of delivery. The short movies with seven parts, the discussions and the projects are engaging. The participants knew some youth in the movies and identified with others and their messages.
Project ReCreation received an S3 Hawk mini-grant (safe, supportive, schools) and conducted a third pilot project at Silverado High School, part of the Victor Valley Union High School District. The project received the praise and recognition of teachers, psychologists, and counselors who observed the program in action. Mr. Moman and Dr. Williams (Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent) were among those who praised the program and commended the program founder for a job well done.
Another pilot was conducted at the High Desert SDA Church, Pastor White the presiding pastor. The findings were similar. A mentoring program was set up which was very active for a year and a half. It was reported that strong relationships were formed and participants and mentors benefited. Unofficial mentoring continues with some of the participants and it is expected that lifelong relationships will exist. Some of the results are documented on video in the on this site "Project ReCreaton Trailer".
Adelanto High School hosted another research project. Students participated in the program 7 weeks during the semester. During the seven weeks, they engaged in the program daily for an hour. A ninth grade (special needs) English class was utilized for the study. Because of transfers in and out of the class and school, only 13 of the 18 students were in the class for the majority of the semester (9 male, 4 female, 8 Hispanic, 5 African American). Of the 13 students, 11 reached their academic, attendance, and behavior goals. Thought the goals were individualized they were generally to: increase their GPA by .5, and decrease their disciple entries, absences and tardies by half. The goals were in relationship to each students records from the previous semester. As an incentive to engage in the program and reach their goals, students were offered the opportunity to make care packages over the winter break and receive a stipend. Eight of the 11 students accepted the offer.
Yvonne Brown (psychologist) commented, "Project ReCreation can change the lives of youth for generations to come". We believe the initial data support the value of "Project ReCreation". Our goal is to continue to validate its value and make it available for others to benefit from.