Youth Development Programs Strengthen Classrooms

<b>Youth Development Programs Strengthen Classrooms</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Comprehensive approaches to positive youth development are becoming more common in schools across the country, resulting in stronger and healthier youth. Research shows that such programs increase academic achievement, decrease problem behavior and increase pro-social behavior. The positive impact of programs that develop life skills in the classroom has caught the attention of some of the nation’s largest school districts, including Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

Lions Quest, a positive youth development program of Lions Clubs International Foundation, recently entered select CPS schools as part of a movement to develop students’ social and emotional skills. Now in more than 10 schools throughout CPS, Lions Quest is garnering recognition and support for additional expansion.

The program’s positive presence in CPS recently attracted the attention of Bank of America, resulting in a $10,000 grant awarded to Lions Quest by the Chicago division of the organization.

“Youth in Chicago are some of the most at-risk in the U.S.,” said Al Brandel, Chairperson of Lions Clubs International Foundation, “But the Lions Quest program aims to provide these youth with the life skills they need to develop into healthy adults and build stronger communities.”

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School was awarded the funding from the Bank of America grant, providing the Lions Quest “Skills for Action” program. Tilden, a high school located on Chicago’s south side with a student population of 1,350, has a high drop-out rate and low graduation rate, and the majority of students come from low-income families. The funds trained 36 teachers from Tilden and other Chicago Public Schools and provided curriculum materials to 500 students.

Teacher training is central to the success of the program. Through informative and engaging workshops, teachers become experts on the content and subsequently implement the program according to the needs of their classroom.

By implementing positive youth development programs in schools, students receive a comprehensive approach to education that strengthens not only the classroom, but also society as a whole.

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