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Author Notes:

All comments and queries regarding this article should be addressed to caldwelll@rhodes.edu.

The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Sybil Fortner in producing this article.



  • Academic achievement
  • Health status
  • African American males

Before the bell rings: Implementing coordinated school health models to influence the academic achievement of African American males


Journal Title:

Journal of Negro Education


Volume 78, Number 3


, Pages 204-215

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


This article addresses a void in the literature that connects the wellness of African American boys to academic achievement. The authors call attention to ecological risk factors that impact the vulnerability of Black boys and compromise their learning even before the school bell rings. The No Child Left Behind legislation has created a culture where educational outcomes are placed before student outcomes. The authors posit that school policy, for example Coordinated School Health Programs that provide a holistic approach to addressing the academic achievement of Black Boys should be supported as innovation in education. The findings of the Breaking Barriers report as it relates to personal and emotional factors are highlighted; then the Coordinated School Health Model is outlined; and finally recommendations on how to implement Coordinated School Health Programs reflective of African American boys are offered.

Copyright information:

© The Journal of Negro Education 2009.

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