Circle Urban Teen Programs

Ages 13-18

 

 

The Problem

In the United States today, the vast majority of schools are finding it difficult for their students to achieve high marks on standardized testing. This is due, largely in part, to the fact that more and more students are falling behind in reading comprehension.  According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress Report…

  • 67% of all 4th grade students read below proficiency.
  • 69% of all 8th grade students read below proficiency.
  • 64% of all 12th grade students read below proficiency.

According to James Wendorf, Executive Director of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, every area of school curriculum depends on the ability to read fluently. It is the “gateway skill” that leads to success both academically and professionally.

As students enter middle school and recognize they have fallen behind, they often tend to show signs of what we call “Academic Shut-Down” (ASD). These signs include…

  • Loss of hope in their personal ability to close the achievement gap.
  • Disbelief that the education system can lead to future success.
  • Lack of concern for today’s decisions leading to tomorrow’s outcomes.

In a middle grade classroom of 28 students, it is now common to have 8-15 students displaying symptoms of ASD. These students typically begin searching for ways to mask their academic inaptitude and often become extremely difficult for even the most skilled teachers to handle.

It becomes nearly impossible for a school to score in the 70-90th percentile on standardized testing when there is a large population of students experiencing Academic Shut-Down.

This problem can be solved!

 

Our Solution

While the problem is demoralizing to the student, discouraging to the teacher and daunting to the administrative staff – it can be solved.  Circle Urban Ministries addresses the issue of low standardized test scores using three interrelated strategies:

    • Self-Image Building: According to Dr. Lyon, Branch Chief of The National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, “Poor reading produces a perception of stupidity and dumbness to peers and clearly to the youngster who is struggling.”  This self-perception marks the start of what we call “Academic Shut-Down” (ASD).  Through a series of Character Education programs and activities we rebuild the self-image of struggling students.  With renewed, positive self-images students regain confidence in their inherent ability to close the achievement gap.
    • Language and Literacy Development: Reading is the “gateway skill” that leads to success both academically and professionally.  The Carnegie Corporation states 35% of all American children enter school unprepared to succeed. This means over one-third of the student population start school with poor language and literacy skills.  With reading proficiency being the heart of the issue, every activity is carefully crafted around reading comprehension to foster language and literacy development. This approach provides students with the opportunity to develop a command of the tools necessary to achieve academic and social success.
    • Life Skills Training: Circle Urban Ministries works with teens to identify their natural talents and prepare a plan to capitalize on those talents. Students learn socioeconomic development strategies; the correlations between financial literacy and education; the 5 key steps to getting better grades and much more.  Teens who were once struggling in school are empowered with the confidence, motivation, knowledge, tools and discipline necessary to maximize their potential.

Circle Urban Ministries’ coaches and mentors go above and beyond the traditional expectations to prepare students for success, both academically and socially. We work with great tenacity to overcome the challenges of Academic Shut-Down.

Our Model

Taught by a trained staff, Circle Urban Ministries runs research-based, age-appropriate programs and activities to provide students with…

  • Social and Emotional learning
  • Life Skills
  • Language and literacy concepts
  • College Preparation

All programming is based on the following 5 Core Factors which are research-based indicators of student success:

  1. Academic rigor
  2. Development of College and Career aspirations
  3. Parental involvement and knowledge about College and Career readiness
  4. Social and cultural support (peer, family, mentor)
  5. Access to College and Career information (for students and parents)

Our approach is threefold: 

  1. to inspire students to adopt positive, post-secondary aspirations for education and careers,
  2. to support students academically to ensure their ongoing matriculation toward high school and college, and
  3. to provide practical assistance to students and their parents to ensure their transition to selective enrollment high schools and post-secondary institutions.

Circle Urban Ministries' Teen Ministry Programs

Circle Urban Ministries is working towards the day every neighborhood is considered a great place to live, learn, grow and succeed.

Upperclassmen High School S.E.E.D. Program

In this program our staff partner with local high schools (Proser, Foreman & Austin.) Circle stands on 4 pillars in this program to Sow (into the teens) to Enrich (the teens’ lives) to Empower (the teens to do great things) to Direct (the teens toward positive choices.)  We come into the schools on their lunch break and work with a select 40 juniors and seniors preparing them for adulthood.  Each month has a different theme for discussion.

  • March – Checking, Savings, Investing
  • April – Career Readiness (interviewing and career guest speakers)
  • May – Last of Career speakers
  • September – Goal Setting successfully
  • October- Credit Advisor (Credit scores, bad credit and good credit)
  • November – Know your Rights Housing addition
  • January – Know your Rights common occurrences
  • February – Knowing accredited colleges and trade school

Underclassmen High School S.E.E.D. Program

In this program our staff partner with local high schools (Proser, Foreman & Austin.) Circle stands on 4 pillars in this program to Sow (into the teens) to Enrich (the teens’ lives) to Empower (the teens to do great things) to Direct (the teens toward positive choices.)  We come into the schools on their lunch break and work with a select 40 teens about self-esteem, positive choices, finding opportunities and overcoming obstacles.

Bibles & Basketball

Schedule Sundays 4:00pm-6:00pm. Bibles and basketball is a small scripture group where the teens have a chance to take scriptures and apply it to real life situation.  Once scripture group is over the teens then play a game of basketball supporting physical activity and teamwork.

Middle School S.E.E.D. Program

In this program our staff partner with local middle schools (Howe, Spencer, Lewis, Catalyst & DePriest.) Circle stands on 4 pillars in this program to Sow (into the children) to Enrich (the children’s lives) to Empower (the children to do great things) to Direct (the children toward positive choices.)  We come into the schools on their lunch break and work with a select 40 children about self-esteem, positive choices, finding opportunities and overcoming obstacles.

Mogul Initiative Entrepreneurial Program

Schedule Mon, Wed, Thur. from 4:30-7:00pm.  This program is designed to build self-confidence, develop character, inspire academic excellence and cultivate leadership skills.  Teens are exposed to critical thinking skills, life impact strategies in decision making and equip them with the tools to maintain/sustain character and integrity.

Contact Our Director of Teen Ministries