Can I Kick It? Youth Engagement Initiative

The purpose of MPB Youth Engagement Initiative is to collaborate with districts, schools and other community agencies in exploring ways to prevent students from dropping out of school by providing resources, opportunities and outreach services that will ultimately help students stay in school and earn a high school diploma, while equipping them for college and career readiness.   

Our Values and Goals

In order to lower Mississippi’s dropout rate and increase the number of high school graduates equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in the 21st century, MPB will collaborate with organizations, schools and other state agencies to provide evidence-based services that will assist in closing the opportunity gap. To achieve this goal, MPB will strive to equip, motivate and encourage students to reach their full potential and provide them with multiple pathways to educational and career and technical success.   

Educational and Career Readiness Services

MPB has identified strategic partners and evidence-based approaches that have the power to transform Mississippi’s schools and increase the overall graduation rate.  Such services are as followed: 

  • “Can I Kick It?” (CIKI) is an original MPB production aimed at influencing potential dropouts to stay in school.  Its laid-back, hip-hop style is mixed with a fresh, edgy feel as prominent Mississippians tell their own stories of success, struggle, setback and triumph. In addition to the movement, Can I Kick It? Crews are established.  These crews are school-based and use a peer-to-peer model to reach out to other students with the message of staying in school.  This module is designed to provide active learning.  A critical component of this program is student-produced media, which allows students to find new and creative ways to solve problems, achieve success, become lifelong learners and express messages of hope, strength, and inspiration to their peers and community at large.  *Students are recommended by their principals and/or counselors based on positive behavioral recommendation, low truancy levels and high academic testing scores.   
     
  • Youth Media Summer Institute provides both a service learning and educational technology component which allows students creative ways to engage in two weeks of leadership development, media production training, and creation of short documentaries and narratives in groups to address Mississippi’s Dropout Crisis.  With video cameras in hand, students realize the power of voice and recognize the clarity of vision.  Through documentary film work, students have the opportunity to tell their own stories, express amazing ideas, and creatively share their concerns and solutions with the world.  Participants learn to work collaboratively, set goals, and develop leadership skills. *Students are recommended by their principals and/or counselors based on behavioral infractions, high truancy levels and low academic scores. *The Youth Media Summer Institute is normally held the last two weeks of July.   
     
  • “Stop the Drop” Dropout Prevention Summits are conducted annually in efforts to raise awareness of the high school dropout crisis in Mississippi, discuss solutions by bringing key stake-holders to the platform (panel discussions), networking with districts, school and other state agencies to develop a strategic plan to decrease this serious epidemic and celebrate those champions that are making a difference in our communities to lower Mississippi’s high dropout rate.  There is a youth component designed to encourage, motivate and empower students to graduate from high school and become successful and judicious adults. Parents are welcome to attend.  This summit allows MPB a systemic renewal process of evaluating goals and objectives related to schools policies, practices and organizational structures as they impact a diverse group of learners.  *These summits are normally held in the month of December.  
     
  • Dropout Prevention Town Hall Meetings are designed to promote school-community collaboration, which provide collective support to the schools, a strong infrastructure that sustains a caring supportive environment where youth can thrive and achieve, family engagement, organizational collaboration and strategic planning in efforts to decrease the number of dropouts across the state.  MPB holds these convening’s to build the capacity of communities, to better serve young people and prepare them for success in school, work and life through collaborative action.    
     
  • Mentoring and Tutoring Services.   MPB will work diligently to provide a methodical approach to student success through effective tutoring, mentoring, leadership expansion, cultural and social diversity as well as character enhancement in collaboration with key stakeholders throughout the state.  
     
  • Career and Technical Educational Services.  MPB will allow high school students the opportunity to participate in academic awareness fairs, college application parties, and educational forums designed to prepare students for career readiness opportunities.  
     
  • Individualized training sessions develop access to student’s unique interests and past learning experiences.  This program allows MPB staff the opportunity to impart methods and motivational strategies to students with low academic testing scores, high truancy rates and behavior problems.  Activities include mentoring, peer-to-peer engagement (conducted by the CIKI crews) and behavior modification exercises. 
     
  • Graduation Stimulation Parties conducted for youth that successfully complete MPB’s programs and graduate from high school.  These parties/receptions are designed to motivate the students in their efforts and to reward them for a job well done. *These parties will be conducted in May.
     
  • Student Engagement (Pep Rally) Tours. These tours are designed for at-risk schools to motivate, encourage and engage students to achieve high academic performance during state testing.   
     
  • Professional Development Opportunities. Staff, teacher and administrative personnel will participate in professional development opportunities to receive additional training and knowledge concerning new laws, regulations and innovative ideas to address the graduation/dropout crisis. 

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