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At-Risk Kids Aren’t "Throw Away" Kids. Lives Can Turn Around When Basic Life Skills are Taught
ARISE, a non-profit organization, provides life skills and staff training to troubled youth and the adults who care for them.
The lessons are designed to show participants that actions have consequences – and to make clear the specific consequences of the individual choices they have made. Participants are taught how to identify with those they wish to harm (due to anger, frustration, bullying or any other catalyst), how to place themselves emotionally in the shoes of others.
The ARISE curricula is easily replicable in all manner of settings designed to help young people find positive, productive paths and are just as easily adaptable to the specific requirements of various programs with that goal. Turnkey personnel … school counselors … social workers … clergy … neighborhood associations … Boys and Girls Clubs … PAL clubs … and even nuclear and extended families are able to use ARISE tools and training to – as the old song goes – “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative” to turn these kids around.
Many – in fact, most – of the trained professionals who use ARISE curricula with the youth they serve become effective, caring mentors to their kids, establishing relationships that nurture, support and last far into adulthood. For many of these kids, the professionals using ARISE curricula are the first and only adults in their young lives who truly believe they can change and offer them the tools and support to do so.
Jane Wilson – a tutor, literary coach and life skills instructor – wrote a paper while she was a Senior at Stanford University (2007) entitled, “Reducing Juvenile Recidivism in the United States.” In it, she notes that the most effective programs in reducing recidivism are those that are respectful of the youth, help them develop empathy, and teach them interpersonal skills such as anger management and conflict resolution. That’s the ARISE curricula in a nutshell.
Through its anger management curriculum, the ARISE program teaches youth to make better choices in managing overwhelming feelings, enabling at-risk youth, through interactive group sessions conducted by a trained facilitator, to identify with the feelings of others and to express empathy and consideration. Troubled youth and shown how to effectively resolve conflicts without being swamped by anger and/or resorting to violence.
They learn that they, alone, are responsible for their actions, not anyone else.
ARISE staff training (Visit at-riskyouth.org/
The emphasis in all ARISE training for professionals and families is on empathy and reinforcement of appropriate behavior, with a steady focus on positives, not negatives. By respecting and validating the at-risk youths under their guidance, everyone benefits: the youth, coworkers, the community, family members – everyone. This is accomplished by not offering unsolicited advice, sermons, lectures or negative put-downs but, instead, providing an empathetic, nurturing focus on the positive. Ultimately, the ARISE staff training programs and ARISE life skills curricula send professionals and families out to create an environment where empathy and respect are the norm, not the exception.
The latest research conducted by Dr. Kristin Winokur of the Justice Research Center (2010), concluded that youth in facilities using the ARISE life-skills program, in which the staff had the appropriate ARISE training, did better in terms of recidivism than the comparison site. The difference was slight, but it was a step in the right direction and much was learned about how to strengthen and improve the training.
In the Empathy subset of the Teen Conflict Survey – which measures the ability to listen, care and trust others (developed by Boswoth and Espelage, 1998) – the youth and staff getting ARISE programs demonstrated significant improvement in empathy attitudes, while results for the control site not getting the ARISE program declined. The staff at the ARISE program treatment site also demonstrated statistically significant higher scores on the Empathy Index as compared to their pre-surveys.
It appears that the first step in reducing recidivism is to change the culture in juvenile justice to an atmosphere where staff is respectful of the youth and coworkers, demonstrating empathy and providing cognitive and behavioral skills training such as anger management and conflict resolution.
For more information about how and why ARISE techniques, work so well visit at-riskyouth.org/
With your tax-deductible donation, ARISE can turn stumbling blocks into stepping-stones for the toughest kids on the planet. ARISE is a 501c3 charitable organization, so your contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Your support is greatly needed and appreciated. Visit at-riskyouth.org/
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Provide valuable ARISE life skills and staff training to at-risk youth and the adults who care for them. We enable youth to achieve their highest potential as law-abiding citizens through ARISE group sessions conducted by well trained, ARISE facilitators.