In 2006, graduation rates within Tioga County were low. Studies showed that students who consistently missed school were at a higher risk for failing and/or repeating a grade. All too often these young teens dropped out of high school. During this time, Newark Valley School District partnered with Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga and the Department of Social Services to form the Youth Engagement Services (YES) Program.
Due to the success of the program, it has been expanded in partnership with Spencer Van Etten High School. This program was formed for grades 9 through 12. The goal of the YES Club is to improve graduation rates by engaging students through homework assistance, regular home contact, field trips, life skills workshops, community service projects, and fun with friends.
The YES Club addresses three essential elements to increase student success:
- Attendance Intervention
- Academic Support
- Life Skills Programming
The YES Club offers the following services to students and their families:
- In School Support (Study Halls & Lunches)
- After School Program
- Educational Field Trips and activities
- Family Outreach
In the Fall of 2013, Catholic Charities received an additional grant which to expand the YES Program into the greater community. YES Mentoring works with youth ages 9 to 17 throughout Tioga County. In December of 2015, the program was expanded to serve rural Tompkins county as well.
The goal of our YES Mentoring Program is to improve academic success by reduce risk taking and delinquent behaviors through one-on-one mentoring. The youth and mentors will focus on fostering positive relationships focused on building and improving the 40 developmental assets all children possess through conversation, goal setting, and enriching activities.
YES Mentoring helps students by:
- Providing a caring adult who will listen
- Helping set goals and improve success
- Encouraging positive behavioral decision making
- Strengthening skills and exploring career options