As a grantee of the California PropelNext initiative, a three-year grant underwritten by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Huckleberry created Project READY.
Modeled after our juvenile justice program, Huckleberry Community Assessment & Resource Center (CARC), Project READY (Reconnecting, Educating, and Achieving Dreams for Youth), ensures that middle schoolers with behavioral or truancy issues successfully transition to high school and avoid contact with the juvenile justice system.
Academic support and intensive one-on-one case management, combined with parental support and education, can reduce rates of school failure and arrest among youth with multiple risk factors. 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.
Data shows that a major risk factor for criminal activity is school failure, and the highest rate of school failure occurs during the transition from middle to high school. Accordingly, Project READY works with at-risk youth, in two of San Francisco’s most under-resourced middle schools, from the summer before 8th grade through the first semester of 9th grade.
Services include academic support and social emotional learning/ development delivered through intensive one-on-one case management and groups, individual and group therapy for youth and their families, and parental support, including in-home visits. Over the first two years, 25 students have successfully participated in the program, with 100% transitioning to high school. There have been no arrests among students who completed the first year of the program.
On April 19, 2018, the CA Board of State and Community Corrections Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program awarded substantial funding totaling $446,000 to Project Ready! A key component of the new, two-year grant will be program evaluation – measuring student success in school and social-emotional learning.
PARTNERSHIP WITH THE BEAT WITHIN
In the spring of 2019, Project READY participants partnered with The Beat Within for an 8-week group that supported youth in sharing their personal truths and stories.
The Beat Within is a publication of writing and art from the inside and encourages literacy, self-expression, some critical thinking skills, and healthy, supportive relationships with adults and their community.