Middle and High School Programs
Our youth find a quiet space to do their homework everyday when they get to the center, with support from staff and volunteers. We additionally build in time for of iReady, an online literacy and math program, a day in order to supplement homework and to build skills. Taking time to read with our youth is a priority. High schoolers have the opportunity for more one-to-one tutoring time, to support with advanced coursework.
We teach classes on healthy lifestyles and work to create plans about our youths’ futures. We assist with job preparation, college and career readiness, and life planning. The kids are taught crucial communication skills, such as public speaking, in order to build confidence. Program offerings have ranged from podcast creation and editing to learning about how to research and discern news sources. We partner with the Sun Valley Kitchen to bring cooking classes directly to our youth, where they can learn basic kitchen skills and meal preparation.
The voices of our teens heavily impacts programs from semester to semester. We want to provide educational offerings that are adapted to their interests and help them grow where they desire.
Everyday, we make time to incorporate a movement-based activity into the day. This heavily depends on input from the kids, but some of their favorite activities are kickball, basketball, soccer, and volleyball. These activities build bonds with one another and allow the youth to have fun. Many teens are on organized sports through school, and we show up to cheer them on at their games!
Every week, the youth can choose to participate in mixed martial arts, if they choose. MMA helps the youth learn more about self-defense, confidence and both physical and mental health. We also love to bike all around Denver and explore local parks. Some of the older youth attend Rude Recreation Center with SVYC staff to lfit weights, build endurance, and do yoga.
Mindfulness & SEAL
At this stage of adolescence, we prioritize programming that allows kids to build a healthy relationship with self and others. We check in with our youth daily to assess their needs and support them. Making time to practice gratitude and self-regulation equips students to be their best, most balanced selves.
We run programming that targets different obstacles that the youth might be encountering and helps them them find ways of healthily coping. Our aim is to educate the youth on positive ways to cope with roadblocks, to identify supportive resources, and to set goals and make plans for the future. By giving them the tools to deal with obstacles, we teach our youth that they have the power to control their emotions, be objective about what they can do, and be persistent on what can change.
Field trips to equine-assisted therapy ranches provide kids the opportunity to practice giving care to horses and process through their emotions.
Every day, we make time to connect through games and play. Favorite activities include playing monopoly, card games, chess, pool, and ping pong!
Creating art happens spontaneously throughout each day. Many youth sign up for music lessons in guitar or piano and can be found practicing their instruments. We often have music playing throughout the day and make time to rap. Painting and coloring are common activities that help the kids relax and be creative. We have provided dance classes and hosted performances, where creative writing has also been shared.