Catholic Charities Youth Learning Center believes that a mutally respectful environment is necessary for each student to experience success. The strengths of this innovative educational collaboration comes from assisting students in acquiring the skills and resources they will need to prepare a vision for their future. Families can have confidence in our commitment to their student, and our ability to deliver highly effective professional youth services.
The Circle of Courage is a symbolic representation of our common needs to belong, have skills, be independant and to be able to give back to others. If present, these elements assist us in completing a life circle which is whole and complete. This pholosophy is what the YLC program was built upon.
The YLC's unmatched services stand apart from others as they enrich the educational environment through a combination of academic and social skills based mental health services to meet the individual needs of students. We offer a high staff/student ratio with academic and mental health services provided by licensed professional staff, including the Program Supervisor, EBD Classroom Teachers, paraprofessionals, and Mental Health Practitioners.
The YLC believes that mentors and positive peers are an integral part of the education experience, and they weave a network of informal and formal community supports into a student's educational plan. Family involvement is also a vital part of the students success. The family's participation is based on the student's identified needs and strengths.
Students in grades 6-8 who have had difficulty being successful through other education methods are eligible for the YLC after being identified and referred through District 742.
Referrals are made to the Youth Learning Center from the student’s home elementary or middle school, and are based on the decisions made by their individual education plan (IEP) and building placement team.
To refer a student, contact the Building Administrator or Mental Health Facilitator at the District 742 Community Schools
The service is available at no charge to the student and his or her family.
The Youth Learning Center began operation in July, 1996 providing services for District 742 students.
The Youth Learning Center is a collaborative Catholic Charities and District 742 program designed to provide educational and social skills training for students who have not found success with previously offered interventions and alternative school settings. For many students who require the assistance of additional services, interventions are very successful, but for some, there isn't any one model or combination of interventions that adequetly meet their needs. Conceptually, the Youth Learning Center differs from others in that the program model offers a relationship-based environment rather than specific service offerings into which the learner must fit. From the Circle of Courage concept, students assess their strengths and enhance skill areas which may need strengthening. Educational, social, and coping skills services focus on assisting each student in developing a vision for their future based on aptitude, ability, intrest, and values that will help them realize their identified goals.
Concepts from the work of Larry K. Brentro, Martain Brokenleg, and Steve Van Bockern's work, "Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future," are incorporated into the learning environment of the Youth Learning Center. Much of their work focuses on a holistic, circular interpretation of individual needs such as the Circle of Courage. The Circle of Courage empahasizes all of our basic needs to have a sense of belonging, some level of mastery, independance, and personal value which are strong enough to allow us to give back generously to the community. Over the years, the Circle of Courage concepts have been integrated into a program model with teaching components which are based on a strengths based curriculum and core classes, as well as a behavioral system. Recognizing that change does take courage, the Circle of Courage provides a framework for assesssing strengths and needs. The Circle of Courage offers students, staff, and all members of our community a symbolic representation that we all hold these needs in common.