Program History / Overview
History - R.E.A.C.H Youth Programs Incorporated was founded in 1980 and established as a nonprofit organization in 1987. During that time span thousand of young people have benefited from the program. The acronym R.E.A.C.H stands for Religion, Education, and Athletics, builds Character and Hope. R.E.A.C.H Youth Programs Incorporated is a neighborhood based outreach service to youth and their families in the Northeast area of Detroit. The mission is to provide comprehensive and consistent care for at-risk youth and families.
R.E.A.C.H Youth Programs Inc. works to create and sustain a positive, stable environment where children, teens, and families may experience academic, spiritual and professional growth. The program goals are as follows: Offer positive and constructive activities for youth Reinforce the importance of academic achievement, promote community pride, increase self-esteem, encourage interaction with positive role models R.E.A.C.H Youth Programs also emphasizes that all participants must one day become productive citizens and positive community role models. Our Methodology Developed to address the need for providing youth with after school alternatives, R.E.A.C.H. Youth Programs has serviced thousand of youth since its founding in 1980.
Through the efforts a core group of dedicated staff and volunteers R.E.A.C.H. is proud to boast of the many success stories associated with its youth participants. In moving forward, through the assistance of New Detroit, Inc. and Wayne State University, Arab American Chaldean Council R.E.A.C.H. has identified the need to focus its Out-of School Time Curriculum in two of its area schools, Greenfield Union and Nolan Middle School. The curriculum is a comprehensive plan for school aged youth during the high risk hours after school and during summer vacation. The plan is based on the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation's Participatory Learning Approach to youth development combined with the activities and strategies that have been successfully implemented in the community during R.E.A.C.H.'s 25 years of serving the community.
Our approach addresses the needs of youth on the areas of Academic Enrichment, Recreation and Personal Enrichment, and Athletics and Physical Activity. For the purposes of this paper we will focus on how we will address the issue of Academic performance in our target population by Identifying the problem, the need, and what we propose to be the solution. Community Needs The needs of the children in our community were determined by conducting a demographic analysis of the 48203 zip code.
The information from this analysis was compiled from the US Census Bureau's "Census 2000 Summary File." According to the summary file, The former R.E.A.C.H Youth House resided in a community with a total population of 45,260 people. 86.7% of these people are African American. Our center serves 26% of the population, which are youth between the ages of 8-18 years old. The households in our community have a median annual income of $26,491.00. The US Census Bureau sets the Poverty Threshold for a two-adult and one child household at $12, 400.00; anything beneath this threshold is below the poverty line. 39.7% of families with children under 18 years old live at or below the poverty line. 49.7% of single female parents with children under 18 years old live at or below the poverty line. In reference to educational attainment, 65% of the population has a high school diploma and 8.5% have a bachelor's degree. At Pershing High School out of 2,055 total students, 1,177 are eligible for free lunch and 68 are eligible or reduced lunch. Overall, at each school, more than have are eligible for free or reduced lunch, (http://nces.ed.gov/).
Family assistance services:
For example, at Nolan Middle school out of 776 total students 641 are eligible for free lunch and 18 are eligible for reduced lunch. If the children in our community follow the demographic trends set before them, it puts them at risk for failure in the future.
Young women in our communities are increasingly becoming mothers before the age of twenty-one. (Wayne County Institute for Youth and Family Development Policy- http://www.waynecounty.com ).For at-risk youth, truancy and school failure are the two most significant predictors of delinquent behavior, according to U.S. Department of Justice research. The unemployment rate of high school dropouts is 70 percent higher than that of high school graduates. (Americans for the Arts http://www.artsusa.org )
Reentry mentorship and community service:
Research shows several other disturbing trends that speak directly to the young men and young women that we serve. One in three African American Men are in prison, while one in ten is in college. 3.9 million U.S citizens with felony convictions (including over 1 million who have completed their sentences) are barred from voting for life. Of these, 1.4 million are African American men or 13% of the black adult U.S. population (Mauer & Hulung, 1995). Successful reentry programs give former offenders opportunities to support themselves through legitimate and productive work, reducing recidivism and improving public safety. The first type of reentry involves formal government supervision and support upon release, through probation or parole. In 2016, there were 4.5 million Americans under some form of community supervision. These individuals are actively supervised and supported by a probation or parole officer and subject to a list of conditions imposed by a court or the corrections system. The second form of reentry involves an individual voluntarily accepting or seeking admittance to community-based programs that will prepare them for reentry and provide them with support services when they return to their communities. REACH offers the ability to assist with continued support of reentry activities offering the ability to have the client perform community service activities and mentorship for youth and parents within the program.
R.E.A.C.H. Youth Programs currently has working collaborations with some of the following community organizations: Detroit Public Schools, Hype Recreation Center, Detroit Sports Commission, Horatio Williams Foundation, St. Mary’s Prep, Emmanuel Center, Don Boso, NHEC, Arab American Chaldean Council, Communities. Our currect after school acitivities are held at ACC Youth Center in Detroit.