Groups facilitated by Community Partners
GETTING INVOLVED FOR TODAY'S STUDENTS (G.I.F.T.S.)
G.I.F.T.S. Coordinator-Tom Gist
Getting Involved For Today's Students (G.I.F.T.S) is the educational component of the Greene County Juvenile Court's Evening Reporting Center (ERC). G.I.F.T.S. is funded through a DESE grant in partnership with Springfield Public Schools.
G.I.F.T.S. focuses on meeting the educational needs of the students. The first priority is to help students to be successful in school, ACT and GED preparation. If the child is not in school, we can work with Greene County School District's on getting them back in school. Individualized instruction takes place as students work on homework, prepare for tests, or use computers to address specific learning goals. Three days a week, group lessons are taught over concepts basic to the understanding of literature, math, and writing. Lessons are inter-active involving students in group learning activities that require the participation of all students. The program is flexible and the curriculum is adjusted to the needs of the students. Progress on educational goals is measured through the monitoring of grades and the use of pre- and post-tests.
BALANCED AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
Balanced and Restorative Justice refers to not merely punishing offenders, but allowing the offender to compensate the victim/community that they have wronged. The reason for doing this is to not only aid the victim(s), but to help the offender, as well. The way that offenders benefit from this is by facing and fixing the damage they caused, helps rebuild broken relationships, and having to answer for their crimes rather than merely serving time. Balanced and Restorative Justice is funded through a Title II grant Juvenile Justice Grants.
MORAL DECISION MAKING
This group allows for an exploration of the four stages of Moral Development, ie: Power & Authority, Deal Making, Mutuality & The Golden Rule, and Societal Contribution. These stages describe the most immature to the most mature ways of coming to a decision on how to act and interact with others. This also helps participants recognize how doing something or not doing something out of fear of punishment (stage 1) is different than doing something selflessly in order to help others (stage 4). This program is funded through Title II Juvenile Justice Formula Grants.
COPING WITH ADDICTIONS
Addictions have the ability to affect every aspect of the user's life, as well as the lives of those around them. When someone is on drugs they are less likely to make intelligent, rational decisions. This can often lead to dangerous and illegal activities. Not only may the user hurt someone else (be it emotionally or physically) but they can hurt themselves, as well. Long-term drug usage can damage organs, effect the brain, contribute to diseases, etc. In an attempt to help stop this cycle Coping with Addictions teaches the participants at the ERC about drugs and their consequences, in addition to treatment options. This program is funded through the Title II Juvenile Justice Grants.
Anger Management works by helping participants understand what anger is, how best to control it and incorporates a journal aspect for self-reflection. This is meant to help our youth learn to find better ways to express their emotions than through rage or violence.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE EDUCATION
It is the goal of this group to help prevent youth from abusing drugs. It does this through explaining the truth about the damage drugs can cause, long and short-term consequences, and how dangerous addiction can be.
This group is dedicated to help participants construct resumes and cover letters for the purposes of gaining employment. The participants also learn how to fill out applications, dress appropriately and also how to conduct themselves in an interview. The Missouri State University S.I.F.E. (Students in Free Enterprise) team members volunteer their time and services to facilitate this group.
"Teach to Inspire Yoga Education Outreach Program is dedicated to providing the therapeutic benefits of yoga practice to those who might not otherwise be able to come to a yoga class. As part of our teacher training program providing classes to the ERC is a benefit to students as well as the kids in the program." - Beth from Teach to Inspire Yoga Education Outreach Program
This group allows youth to understand the workings of our government and legal system. Youth gain knowledge of our country's election process, law-making procedure, naturalization process, and the Constitution of the United States. This objectively taught group emphasizes the importance of having a strong knowledge of our government.
This group, facilitated through the Forest Institute, examines the different types of relationships that we have in our lives and identifies what makes them healthy vs. unhealthy. Some of the relationship types that are examined in this group are family, friends, and romantic relationships.
This group, facilitated through the Forest Institute, provides the youth with a multitude of different skills that will help them cope with some of life's stressors. This group also allows the youth to practice the coping skills while in group so that they will be comfortable with using them in their daily lives.
This recently renovated group focuses on both the short term goals of the youth while in the ERC program, but also what the youth can do to achieve their long-term dream. The youth are asked to identify their major aspirations in life and what steps they can take take in order to achieve them. The youth are then expected to make progress on the steps that they have identified in previous group sessions. The main goal behind this goal is to provide the youth with a direction and level of progress toward their dreams that they can continue to pursue after their release from the ERC.
Groups facilitated by E.R.C. Staff
Youth participate in various projects such as, paper mache, birdhouse making, affirmation boxes, compilation book, collogues and miscellaneous painting projects.
PARENT AND YOUTH COMMUNICATION SKILLS
This group focuses on communication skills to help foster a better understanding between parents and their children. It also is meant to help teach better communication between the two to help reduce (or remove) conflicts and misunderstandings. It is the hope that this time together can help families reconnect with one another.
GENDER RESPONSIVE GROUP
The purpose of this group is to teach the youth about the male and female gender and how it relates to them. Youth are broken into all male and female groups and are separated to focus on ones own gender. Gender responsive is held two days a week and various activities and projects that are gender oriented are conducted by ERC staff.
This group is held every Wednesday of the week. We sit down with the youth and talk about current events in the local community and around the world. This group is held to try and expand the youths knowledge of what is going on in the world and the community around them and how it impacts them.
GOAL SETTING "PARTICIPATION, RECOGNITION, AND EVALUATION"
On every Monday, the youth will make three goals that they wish to achieve while in the ERC. Youth also write out the two responsible and two irresponsible things they have done during the past week. While utilizing the book, "Success For Teens" we help the youth come up with making short term goals. On that following Friday, youth will review those goals and staff rewards the youth for completing them with things like youth of the week and certificates of recognition.
MRT stands for Moral Reconation Therapy. MRT began in 1986 in prisons. Many inmates helped in deciding how the program should be done. MRT is used in over 30 states. The word "reconation" has to do with how we make our decisions. MRT tries to help people make decisions by doing what is right. MRT started as an adult program and Juvenile MRT was created as a result of the success of the adult program.
Groups facilitated by Greene County Health Department
The topics for this group include nutrition, exercise, healthy relationships, sexually transmitted infections, and options for safe sexual habits. Education on these topics will require discussion on things such as abstinence, condoms, birth control, and the appearance of sexually transmitted infections. The group is facilitated through the Greene County Health Department. Individual youth participation in this group is contingent on parental consent.