ACW’s New Choices for Positive Futures After School and Summer Program offers traditional after school activities, including tutoring, homework assistance, art projects, computer classes and workshops to strengthen the youths’ decision making skills and resiliency such as mental health groups, self-esteem workshops, gang and drug awareness, prevention, and leadership opportunities to provide services to the community.
Research studies have repeatedly linked alcohol, tobacco and other drug use (ATOD) to a decline in academic performance, to truancy and dropping out, and to misconduct and delinquency (Gaustad, 1993).
Our program uses a strengths-based curriculum focused on developing resiliency in the youth, families, and communities we serve. Extensive research spanning more than thirty years has shown that youth possessing a particular set of protective factors (social competency, autonomy, problem-solving skills, and sense of purpose) are significantly buffered from the lure of a multitude of negative influences including drugs and alcohol.
Volunteers from local colleges provide individual and group tutoring. Master of Social Work interns offer Girls Chat an evidence based twice a week 10 week program for girls who have experienced trauma such as rape, gang involvement, and drug use.
We always offer the youth a snack and have a set schedule that moves from evidence based curriculum to art to recreational sports to tutoring. Some of our programs are for just girls like Girls Chat or Boys Circle but the majority of the programs and curriculum we offer is for both boys and girls like our book club.
We utilize “The Wheel”, a ten week evidence based bilingual English Spanish program that has a different book for each week, which teaches the youth how to think ethically and responsively using a photo novella format. We also get books in English and Spanish donated to us from The Ella Fitzgerald Foundation.