Huckleberry’s Project READY (Reconnecting, Educating & Achieving Dreams for Youth), launched in 2016, is an expansion of Huckleberry’s juvenile justice diversion services within a school-based setting. Data shows a major risk factor for juvenile justice involvement is school failure, with the highest rate of school failure occurring during the transition from middle to high school.
Program participants receive academic support, intensive and individualized one-on-one case management, combined with mental health services. To achieve the goal of transitioning youth to high school while avoiding contact with the juvenile justice system, the program works with youth from the summer before 8th grade through the first semester of 9th grade, with the most intensive services offered during 8th grade.
Project READY offers social-emotional learning and development opportunities that address stress reduction, emotional regulation, communication, relationships, and overcoming obstacles adolescents face.
Another key component of the program is parent participation through monthly family meetings, family therapy and/or ongoing parent workshops focused on skill-building and support, contributing to youth and family success.
Project READY program components include:
- Intensive & individualized one-on-one case management
- Eight-week group in the fall and spring of 8th grade
- Family Partnerships: monthly family meetings with program therapist
- Individual and family counseling
- Academic support: in class & after school
- Summer programming focused on community building, youth development, health, wellness & academics
- Parental support and education including Huckleberry’s Parent’s Turn workshops
- Empowering and connecting youth-parent-school-community
- Connection to community resources (jobs, extracurricular activities, etc.)
During the first three years of programming, 44 students have received intensive services and successfully participated in the program, staying with the program through the end of 8th grade. One hundred percent of those students who were scheduled to complete 8th grade by 2019 successfully transitioned into high school.