Valued Youth

Secondary students from Henry Compton, Sacred Heart and the Bridge Academy will be tutors to primary school children


André Taiwo, 15, a student at Henry Compton Secondary School, tutoring pupils from The Good Shepherd Primary School.
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19 local students celebrated their participation in an innovative student-tutoring programme, Valued Youth, at the launch on Friday 12 November at Coca-Cola Great Britain headquarters in Hammersmith. Students from Henry Compton, Sacred Heart and the Bridge Academy joined over 2,500 young people from 310 schools who are expected to participate in the nationwide programme this year.

Valued Youth is delivered by National charity Youth Esteem UK and has been supported by Coca-Cola Great Britain since 1997. Valued Youth forms part of Coca-Cola Great Britain's continuing commitment to youth education and sport programmes, encouraging young people to achieve their personal best. The programme is designed to help secondary school pupils develop their self-confidence and re-engage their interest in learning by acting as classroom tutors to primary school children.

Over 6,000 young people have participated since Youth Esteem UK was established. The programme works with schools to identify students who may benefit from the added confidence, motivation and self-esteem that is gained through acting as a mentor to younger children. The students from years 9-11 work with small groups of primary school pupils in the classroom environment, guided by teachers, to provide assistance in reading and other activities.

Feedback from schools who have participated in the Valued Youth programme have indicated that the students involved showed an increased attendance at school, improved academic achievement and boosted self-esteem.

Tracey Byrne, National Development Manager at Youth Esteem UK said:"The young people have a great year to look forward to, and I know that they'll all gain enormously in confidence and outlook whilst they're on the programme. This is always a very exciting time for everyone involved with Valued Youth - parents, tutors, school staff and primary pupils - and I wish them all a very enjoyable and successful year."

Every year employees of Coca-Cola Great Britain also provide hands on support for the programme by acting as mentors to the Valued Youth tutors from participating secondary schools in the Hammersmith and Fulham Borough where the Company head office is based. The Coca-Cola Great Britain mentors meet fortnightly to provide advice, support and additional encouragement to the Valued Youth tutors over the course of the year-long programme.

The Valued Youth programme in Hammersmith & Fulham is coordinated by the Education Business Section, part of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

Sandy Adamson, Hammersmith & Fulham Council's Director of Education, said: "Re-engaging young people in learning is a priority for the Hammersmith & Fulham Education Authority and we have found the Valued Youth Scheme to be an exciting and innovative way of achieving this. The commitment of Coca-Cola Great Britain to raising educational standards and giving young people a fair chance is very much appreciated by the whole community. Their long-standing support and good relations with our Education Business Section is wonderful, bringing business skill and creativity together for our benefit."

Nicola Carroll, Citizenship Manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: "Coca-Cola is committed to helping young people achieve their full potential and the Valued Youth programme is an effective initiative that provides real benefits to everyone involved.

We also encourage our employees to volunteer as business mentors to the local students on the programme and are delighted to be offering this support for a third year running. Both the mentors and Valued Youth tutors continue to find it an extremely rewarding experience."

November 21, 2004