Thesis

A mentor program for students in a high needs, high poverty school context

As a teacher researcher, I examined the following question: “How does a mentoring program impact students’ engagement with school in a high needs, high poverty school context?”
 A supporting question to this action research included: “What are teachers’ perceptions of students from a high needs, high poverty school context?”
 These questions were examined by providing and implementing a mentor program at the school site for students ranging from third through sixth grade in a low income, high poverty school context. The supporting question was examined by interviewing seven teachers at the school site to gain an understanding of the teachers’ perceptions of the designated demographic.
 The qualitative data was collected and analyzed to gain information on the impact of a mentor program implemented into a high poverty school context. There were methods used to collect triangulated data that supported the research question and the supporting question. A pre and post school attitude survey, weekly journaling, and teacher perception interviews were all conducted to provide data to the action research questions.
 This action research intended to study the issue of poverty and how it affects the students in school, and what interventions can be used to help break the cycle of poverty and support the students and schools. Poverty affects one in four American children and using tools, such as a mentor program, as an early intervention can support the students in succeeding in school and building supportive and healthy relationships.

As a teacher researcher, I examined the following question: “How does a mentoring program impact students’ engagement with school in a high needs, high poverty school context?” A supporting question to this action research included: “What are teachers’ perceptions of students from a high needs, high poverty school context?” These questions were examined by providing and implementing a mentor program at the school site for students ranging from third through sixth grade in a low income, high poverty school context. The supporting question was examined by interviewing seven teachers at the school site to gain an understanding of the teachers’ perceptions of the designated demographic. The qualitative data was collected and analyzed to gain information on the impact of a mentor program implemented into a high poverty school context. There were methods used to collect triangulated data that supported the research question and the supporting question. A pre and post school attitude survey, weekly journaling, and teacher perception interviews were all conducted to provide data to the action research questions. This action research intended to study the issue of poverty and how it affects the students in school, and what interventions can be used to help break the cycle of poverty and support the students and schools. Poverty affects one in four American children and using tools, such as a mentor program, as an early intervention can support the students in succeeding in school and building supportive and healthy relationships.

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