Houston - Tillotson University
900 Chicon Street
Austin , TX 78702
Phone: (512) 505-3075
Fax: (512) 505-3196
Title: Our Brothers' Keepers
Project Director: Debra Murphy, Ph.D.
Project Amount Funded (FY 2006): $68,180
Target Population: African American Males, Grades 6-8
The objective of Our Brothers' Keepers is to combat violence and self destructive behaviors in 25 minority boys by addressing the issues at its core, such as poverty, low self-esteem, poor academic achievement, and peer pressure. Program participants are from Kealing Middle School in east Austin and the program is a collaborative effort between the Austin Independent School District , the Austin Area Urban League, and Austin Voice for Education and Youth, an organization dedicated to educational change. Program participants take part in a year-round after-school program designed to increase awareness and ability in four objective categories: academic enrichment, cultural enrichment, career development, and personal development. Participants meet three evenings a week in addition to one Saturday a month. Curriculum for the program is structured around five component areas: (1) Life Skills training which takes place once a week and focuses on drug resistance, personal self-management, or general social skills training. (2) Discussion Groups which meet weekly for one hour to engage students on such topics as stereotypes, personal responsibility, self-image, and current events. (3) Weekly speaking events given by Houston-Tillotson staff take place on the third day of the week and address conflict resolution, study skills, and career development. (4) Service learning activities are conducted to practice computational, analytical, and group-interaction skills by building a patio on the Houston-Tillotson campus. (5) Joint research projects in the arts are designed to encourage thought and creative expression. Cultural enrichment activities include training in the arts and attending cultural events such as dance performances and art exhibits. During the summer, students take part in daily sports camps where they play a variety of sports. Houston-Tillotson students serve as tutors and mentors and meet with students during after-school sessions to serve as healthy role models. Parental participation is fostered through monthly breakfast meetings and weekly meetings on educational change.