It’s no secret by this point that the pandemic changed things.
Our service model at RE has always been about providing students with the academic, social, and emotional support they need to graduate from high school and be successful in whatever post-secondary path they choose. Since 2020, however, we have found that, in order to provide effective academic support, we have to lean much more heavily into the social and emotional wellbeing of our youth.
RE was called to participate recently in an emergency meeting on Violence Interference Strategy with the District Attorney’s office. The main topic of the meeting was gun violence.
It’s a difficult time for our youth, and they respond to it in different ways: with fear, with anger, with depression. To get them to a place where they can focus on academics, we have to set aside time daily to engage their hearts and minds, and to help them cope with negative feelings.
- We’ve been hosting more parent engagement events, such as Mom’s Movie Night and a Parent Town Hall.
- We hold daily discussions that focus on the challenges our students are experiencing, as well as seminars devoted to topics like meditation and coping strategies.
- We’re scheduling more Social Discovery Field Trips and enrichment opportunities that take place on weeknights and weekends, including a recent trip to a rage room, Hip Hop Yoga at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a Battle of the Bands mentoring outing, and Teen Summit.
- We’re also restarting our Boys, Books & Brotherhood Initiative sponsored by the UWGA African American Partnership and the Eta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. We’ll soon be starting a girls’ version of this project called Lit Chics and will need female volunteers. Be on the lookout soon for opportunities to sign up.
Engaged support is about meeting our students where they’re at, and right now many of them are in a challenging mental space. To help us provide them with positive opportunities and resources to cope, please donate by clicking below.