Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Education

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Sheila Gregory

Second Advisor

Dr Moses Norman

Third Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner


Due to low performance in student achievement of the students in the Uptown New Orleans school district, community leaders decided to pool resources and skills and create an education plan that was designed to increase reading literacy. It is believed low income students in the New Orleans schools may not receive educational home support to improve reading performance. It is believed that this type reading program would provide individual reading support that would improve literacy, but also it would develop confidence and desire to learn (Burgess, 2002). This environment was designed to replicate the traditional family setting with high reading expectations. It is also believed that the lack of motivation, absence of aspiration and poor self efficacy due to limited life resources is consistent with the acts of low expectations. It is difficult to encourage high life expectations to a child, if life expectations for him are low or non-existent (Grimmett, 1999). As a result, intrinsic motivation, student aspiration and self-efficacy among low income students, are not often developed because of low expectations and the lack of active encouragement, due to limited exposure to positive life opportunities created by adults and others in the environments that surround them. Low expectations and minimal encouragement are still a form of expectations and encouragement. Although suboptimal, this type of expectation and encouragement can influence the career development of low income children (House & Baetz, 1979). These types of expectations and encouragement yield low energy learning environments for low income children. The events are more likely to yield negative life outcomes, such as poor school performance, school dropout, incarceration and poverty, or career expectations for one-shot pop entertainment such as sports entertainment or overnight success music artist. Through this investigation, evidence showed this type Mentoring Model helped close achievement gaps of low income students by increasing reading literacy in an environment that are like a comfortable home environment. As a benefit, the mentor model exposed the students of Benjamin Banneker Elementary to a variety of unfamiliar careers and new social occurrences through mentoring. This communication bridge between the students and mentors provides broader life and career exposure to the student that can amplify intrinsic motivation, career aspiration, and self-efficacy—the needed components for student reading success.

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