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LRC 699 - Independent Study (Youth Literacy Network)

Dr. Richard Ruiz

Course DescriptionThe Youth Literacy Network, a high school/middle school mentoring program in South Tucson, Arizona is in need of an administrator/facilitator for the spring of 2013.  This is an opportunity to conduct original research to satisfy the research requirements for coursework in the PhD program of Language, Reading and Culture. 


Learning Objectives - To be the principle investagator in a research project where I learned about the IRB procees, created a research proposal, conducted field research and data collection, anaylized the data and write a final paper on my findings. 


Youth Literacy Network           Download the Paper

This research revolves around the Youth Literacy Network and the merging of literacy and technology into a mentoring after school program for high school and middle school students.

This qualitative research study focused on investigating the improvement of literacy and computer skills in five high school students participating in the Youth Literacy Network after school program located in a south side neighborhood of Tucson, Arizona.  These students were trained as mentors to assist middle school students with homework and encourage them to create projects to develop literacy and computer skills. During the program duration, several strategies were used to educate the student mentors including: reflective writing, game play, and digital technology projects.  The data collected consisted of: writings, gaming artifacts, digital technology projects, a focus group interview, a short survey and written observations by the researcher.  The findings suggest that the Youth Literacy Network after school program did provided opportunities for high school and middle school students to increase both their literacy and computer skills. There was evidence that the skills they acquired and the relationships created during the program will fundamentally influence their teaching and learning experiences and perhaps their future social, educational and professional goals.


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