Reconnecting Youth Program Structure:
1. The RY curriculum
There are 75 lessons in the RY curriculum. It is typically offered as a semester-long, for-credit class by a teacher/facilitator who works well with youth at risk and who is trained to implement the RY program.
- Getting Started
- Self-esteem Enhancement
- Decision Making
- Personal Control
- Interpersonal Communication
2. Social and School Bonding Activities
An important component of the RY Program is increasing RY student involvement in healthy social activities and engaging them in activities that increase bonding to their school. The curriculum describes a variety of ways this can be done.
3. School Crisis Response Plan
A School Crisis Response Plan is the third component of the RY Program. Such a plan is necessary because many high-risk youth experience depression and suicide-risk behaviors. The RY School Crisis Response Plan.
The RY and CAST curricula align with the National Health Education Standard of CDC’s School Health Education Resources.
Reconnecting Youth Students:
An RY Class is made up of 9 – 12 students who are INVITED to participate and who meet the following criteria:
- Are behind in credits for their grade level
- Are in the top 25th percentile for absences
- Has a GPA of less than 2.3 or a precipitous drop in grades
- Has a prior dropout status
- Are referred by school personnel & meet 1 or more of the first three criteria
Reconnecting Youth is an Evidenced-Based Program:
When tested with potential high school dropouts, RY had significant effects:
- 35% decrease in dropout rates
- 50% decrease in hard drug use
- 75% decrease in depression/hopelessness
- 80% decrease in suicidal behaviors
- 18% increase in GPA for all classes (excluding RY)
- 7.5% increase in credits earned per semester
Go to Research for more details.
Recognized for Excellence by:
- SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) – National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP)
- SPRC’s (Suicide Prevention Resource Center) – Best Practice Registry
- National Dropout Prevention Center/Network
- Healthy Communities Institute – Promising Practices Library
- The Decision Support System for Youth Well Being
- Child Trends – What Works/LINKS
- Student Mental Health Initiative Clearinghouse
- NIDA – Preventing Drug Abuse among Children and Adolescents: Examples of Research-Based Drug Abuse Prevention Programs
- Canada National Crime Prevention Centre (NCPC): Promising and Model Crime Prevention Programs
- Indian Health Services, Community Suicide Prevention Website: Promising and Effective Programs
Additional Recognition for Reconnecting Youth:
Selected by the U.S. Department of Education (2002 and, again, in 2005) as one of the SAMHSA model programs that DOE would fund through their grant application process.
Honored in May 2000 as a model program for the 1999 Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Awards presented at the U.S. Congress. Co-sponsored by Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, the National Prevention Network, and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Washington, DC.
Selection in Drug Strategies’ (1999) publication, Making the Grade: A Guide to School Drug Prevention Programs, as the only research-based high school drug prevention program in the US to receive an “A” grade.
Recommendation by the U. S. Department of Education through the Safe and Drug Free Schools Program as successful in preventing drug use and violent behavior among youth (1998).