Educational Engagement

School Support Download Pamphlet

 

The School Support Program- is a community based intervention program designed to assist youth who are in conflict with the law and are experiencing an array of difficulties that are barriers to acquiring or maintaining an educational placement. Many live in unstructured family environments with high levels of social-economic disadvantages. As a result many of these young people demonstrate negative responses stemming often from dysfunctional homes and parenting environments.

Furthermore, issues such as truancy, substance abuse, gang involvement, homelessness, criminalized behaviors and mental/emotional/ physical health concerns are significant factors that impact their education. The program is designed with the premise that while youth need to be accountable for their behavior, they may also require assistance in developing life skills to help them assume a positive role in the community.

                Quote from youth:

“I would like to apologize for my behavior last school year. I know that EGADZ program is just there to help people and I wish I would have taken better advantage of what you guys had to offer. Your program kept me out of jail for almost a whole year” (HB)

 

The objective of the School Support Program is to provide the most inclusive support and assistance to the youth, family/guardian, community youth worker and school staff in facilitating school success. As a result of increased support, supervision and inclusion of the youth in their case plan, the opportunity to decrease the risk of breakdown of school/home placement has proven effective.

Staff provide youth with support for legal issues by transporting and attending court, lawyer’s appointments and probation reporting. Further supports include visits and calls to the home and school, providing in school crisis interventions and suspensions, and support such as wake up calls, transportation to school, parent visits, and one- on-ones with youth. Staff also attends case conferences, contact workers, make outside agency referrals such as Mental Health, Addiction Services, detox and/or treatment, and personal counseling.

Quote from youth:

“I made the basketball team: Thanks but I was going to ask if you could give me a ride to my first game on Tuesday?  Hahah thanks! it just made school more fun but okay, when you guys start work program again you should let me know, I’d like to do that again in the summer” (D.B.)

 

Youth continue to be involved in program during extended school breaks and the summer months. The summer portion of the program provides structured programming that includes life skills, field trips, recreation, community awareness, physical education and camping. This provides consistency and structure in their lives and has proven to be very beneficial upon their return to school the following year.

Youth are picked up each day by staff ensuring a nutritious breakfast, relationship building and attend their educational placement. This approach offers consistency and structure in a young person’s life that has demonstrated to be beneficial upon their return to school.

The most significant impact the program has on the community is the resource it provides to the youth to empower them into a successful educational experience. With support to the youth, school systems, families and the justice system there is a decrease in school placement breakdown. Through consistent daily contact with the youth, their workers, caregivers and the schools, youth are more probable to be held accountable for their negative behaviors and encouraged for their positive work. These components are essential to assist youth to improve and maintain their education. 

The School Support Program is financially supported through the Ministry of Justice and is able to accommodate twelve individual youth between the ages of 12 and 17 at any given time throughout the year.

 

 

Day Support Download Pamphlet

 

The Day Support Program- is a community based intervention program for youth in conflict with the law. Additionally, the youth have lost their whole or partial existing educational placement and require an alternative avenue to stabilize as a means to re-integrate into an appropriate educational placement. The program is designed with the premise that while youth need to be accountable for their behavior, they may also require assistance in developing life skills to help them assume a positive role in the community.

 

            A quote written by a past youth on her Facebook page:

            “I am going to be extremely honest right now when I saw this program saved my life. I will never forget where I came from. It’s nice to see their final report and recognize the people they served last year- they actually made a difference in so many people’s   lives….”

 

The objective of the Day Program is to provide community based programming through Education, Life Skills, Cultural Awareness, Community Programming, and Employment Opportunities. The main objective of the program is to increase social stabilization then assist youth to reintegrate into an appropriate educational or employment placement. This is done by reducing risk factors related to reoffending by providing intensive supervision that reduces recidivism and empowers positive behavioral change.

 

    Quote from youth:

 “I loved the program and I think it was a good step in life for me, I am so glad I got to meet the staff and you of course, made me feel like there is more to life other than being in my own life, I feel very lucky to have got the chance and open up about like with you guys and the staff there spot on.” (j.b)

 

Youth are supported through daily contact with staff who provide wake up calls, breakfast/lunches, transportation, parent/home visits, one on one’s with youth, daily contact with their workers, attend case conferences and medical support. Staff advocate for youth by making outside agency referrals such as Mental Health, Addiction Services, detox and/or treatment and personal counseling.

            A text from a family member:

            “Thank you, you have no idea how much she needs this program….. For herself”

The Day Program is supported through the Ministry of Justice and is able to accommodate twelve individual youth between the ages of 12 and 17 at any given time throughout the calendar year.

During the summer months the program shifts to an employment and recreational structured programs that expose youth to positive alternatives that they may seek to gravitate to and continue on within their community. The summer component of the program provides youth with support, structure and stability that lends towards a more successful transition for them when re-entering an appropriate educational placement in their new school year.

Youth acquire work experience during the summer months through an Employment Training Program and gain real life work experience in their personal lives that teaches the expectations of the work force.

Youth are provided with a variety of activities and experiences through sporting, recreation, fieldtrips, swimming, water skiing, bowling, BBQs and a camping trip, all of which lends towards creating positive experiences and opportunities.

In keeping true to our Random Acts of Kindness, once a week the youth plan out what they will do to try and make someone else’s life a little bit brighter. The youth did such things as handing out flowers to strangers, purchasing breakfast and coffees, handing out mitts and blankets, or popsicles on a hot day. The youth enjoy these experiences and find the insight to selflessness and generosity.

The most significant impact the Day Support Program has on the community is the resource it provides to youth in conflict with the law who are not in school and need stabilization in a supervised setting.   This prepares them to re-enter an educational or employment placement. Youth involved in the program participate actively within their community in a positive manner through volunteer work, random acts of kindness, school work and skills training.  The Day Support Program works diligently at educating the community by breaking down barriers caused by preconceptions of hard to serve youth.  Having youth involved in their community, clearing walks, assisting seniors in care homes, and volunteering at the animal shelter, show that these young persons, given the opportunity, want to contribute and connect with their community.  The phone calls and the positive comments from seniors and volunteer placements show that the outcomes are significant in the young person’s life and benefit to the community.

 

 

 

    Quote from youth:

“I like EGADZ because of what they do for youth. They take them to the movies, mini golf and other stuff. Youth should be thankful for what EGADZ is doing, should be thankful for them being here. Personally I would never know where I’d be without them.”

 

 

First Avenue Campus Download Pamphlet

 

First Avenue Campus (FAC) - is a short term transitional classroom developed to support youth involved in the Justice system. The goal of the program is to support youth through the process of both behavioral stabilization and the further development of skills necessary for school success. The classroom provides a continuum of services to meet the complex needs of youth by providing a seamless transition from custody or Day Program to a quality educational program. This is accomplished by teaching a variety of skills including social, literacy, and mathematics in a comfortable educational setting. Each student is given an individualized curriculum that best fits the individual student to prepare them for future education experiences

                Letter from a youth;

            Thank you for the letting me have the opportunity to try get my math credit. I enjoyed learning from you. I like the way you teach because you explain things so I can understand how to solve the question.”

 

 First Avenue Campus recognizes the transformative power of education and self-improvement. The youth that come to be involved with FAC face a multitude of factors which are barriers to school and community engagement. Issues such as: truancy, substance abuse, gang involvement, homelessness, criminalized behaviors as well as mental/emotional/and physical health concerns. The flexibility of a full or half day school schedule has allowed for individual transition plans that suit each student’s needs. Many youth have been away from a regular school routine for several months or years. Once they become accustomed to the confines and routine of a classroom, they are often ready to advocate for themselves to attend school full-time. By involving the youth in the plan and giving them ample opportunity to discuss goals, they begin to acknowledge how their positive actions impact their progress in school.

First Avenue Campus (FAC) is a partnership between the Separate and Public School systems, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education. Program funding has come from the Education in Custody grant.