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Youth Empowerment Program

Youth Empowerment Program (YEP)

Along with housing provided to all Family Guests, children younger than school age are referred to child care and school age children are encouraged to participate in the YEP! Program to assist in their educational and psychosocial development. Of the children who became homeless in 2017 and were served in theYEP! Program, 83 of them were school-age and 42% of them suffered with a disability (both learning disabilities and/or physical/mental disabilities). YEP! provides many opportunities to our youth, including: 

Summer Learning Empowerment– Children and youth who reside in homeless shelters and who live in low resource, urban neighborhoods are more likely to lose ground in reading over the summer than their middle- and upper-income peers. In addition, both lower and higher income students lose ground in math over the summer. Summer learning Empowerment programs are an important strategy for "narrowing the gap”. Summer programs have been developed for students with wide-ranging interests and needs. Examples include outdoor adventure camps, martial arts camps, arts and music camps, sports camps, summer school, summer reading programs, high school transition programs, college preparatory programs, apprenticeships, and paid internship programs. Program formats range from a one week course, to a two-week overnight camp, to a summer-long day camp. Typically, summer learning programs are about six weeks in duration and may be held at schools, places of worship, cultural centers, and youth-focused non-profit organizations.The main focus is to develop and encourage a positive self-image and build self- esteem.

School Needs/Empowerment– FBFP facilitates participation in school sponsored activities to develop and promote students’ talents and abilities beyond the academic environment. By doing so, children are encouraged to participate in sports and a variety of other activities while enrolled in the emergency shelter program. Typically, school aged children enrolled in emergency shelter program are unable to participate in school sponsored activities due to related fees. Materials that are part of the basic educational program are provided with state and local funds at no charge to a student. A student, however, is expected to provide his or her own pencils, paper, erasers, and notebooks and may be required to pay other fees or deposits.

Access to Laptop Computers– School age children in the emergency shelter program may checkout laptops from the Day Center and utilize them to complete homework assignments. The youth can also receive tutoring individually and in small groups utilizing the laptops. Having access to computers allows our youth Family Guests to maintain/pursue appropriate educational standards. Youth family guests are required to maintain a 2.5 GPA. If they do not, in order to use the laptops, they are required to attend tutoring sessions. The computers also are used for a variety of learning opportunities from basic math skills to how to create a PowerPoint presentation. Each PC has educational software programs designed to engage children and make learning fun. In addition, FBFP assists in educational success by partnering with FBISD who provides honor students as tutors for any Level 1-IV student preparing for the STAAR exam. FBFP also provides transportation to and from tutoring sessions at other locations if needed. FBFP’s commitment to educational success is evidenced by the fact that last year, 80% of every student in FBFP’s care passed the STAAR exam.

 

 

 


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