1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
The After-School Program is a joint effort of the Youth and Recreation Departments, the Detroit Public Schools and several other carefully selected service providers. These activities are provided after school from 3:30 to 5:30. The providers and their activities are as follows:
Gray & Gray Productions
Gray & Gray Productions provide an Arts and Learning curriculum. This curriculum has been designed to support the efforts of school administration to assist students in achieving MEAP test standards. The standards have been established by the Board of Education. Students in grades Kindergarten through 5th will participate in activities, including but not limited to: exercise in voice, diction, movement, scene study interpretation, make-up, costuming, lighting, etc. Program activities culminate in one performance before fellow students and parents. As part of the after school component, Gray & Gray services 70-90 students during the school year.
Center for Creative Studies
The Center for Creative Studies has designed a program specifically tailored toward elementary school students. The first semester allows students to participates in a visual arts program working in a variety of mediums. The second semester focuses on the performing arts (dance). Both curriculums allow students to better utilize their five senses and express those experiences in various positive formats.
Operation Get Down
Operation Get Down provides karate instruction to students as part of the after school program. All students registered for karate are required to participate in the conflict mediation component.
Detroit Recreation Department
A part of the After-School Program is a joint effort of the Detroit Recreation Department and the Detroit Public Schools. Selected schools participate in this organized recreation and tutorial program. Prior to the inception of the Cooper Elementary School Prevention Task Force, Cooper was not slated to be a program site. As the Recreation Departmentís part of this collaborative venture, they will operate a leisure education program from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., two days per week at Cooper and the adjacent playground. The program includes fitness activities, sports, games, arts and crafts, and leisure rap sessions.
Share Our Strength
Share Our Strength (SOS) works to alleviate and prevent hunger in the U.S. and around the world. SOS organizes community outreach programs with the help of thousands of volunteers who contribute their skills and resources in their communities and at the national level. One of the SOS programs is Operation Frontline. Classes in nutrition education and food preparation are taught to parents and students.
Village Health Workers
The Village Health Worker Project is one of the main activities of the Detroit Community-Academic Prevention research center, a collaborative project with partners from the Detroit Health Department, University of Michigan School of Public Health, community based organizations, and the Henry Ford Health system. The project involves lay health advisors who provide information, support, and referrals to residents in their communities to improve the maternal and child health within their communities. Interested community members participate in an eight to ten session training program to increase their knowledge and skills in maternal and child health education, personal and community resources, making referrals and community organizing and advocacy.
Franklin Wright Settlement , Inc.
This human services organization provides skills training for the parents of the school community. The program runs 3-4 series of parenting skills curriculum which may include field trips. Each series includes 6-8 week sessions (meeting once per week). Transportation is provided for field trips and for those families living in the area but not within safe walking distance of the school who want to participate in the parenting sessions.
The purpose of the program is to improve student reading and math skills and to encourage partnering between inner-city and suburban youth. Twice weekly sessions begin at 3:30 p.m. with cultural storytelling by community members, volunteers and students. At 4:00 high school students tutor small groups of Cooper students in reading, math and phonics.
2. When was the program created and why?
The Detroit Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Program is operated at Cooper Elementary School (enrollment 920, grades PK - 5) on the east side of Detroit in the 9th Police Precinct. This area was selected because it is characterized by a high incidence of juvenile crime, extreme economic deprivation, lack of stability, single parent households and community norms which are favorable to drug use and crime. The community is isolated (surrounded by an expressway, a cemetery and railroad tracks) and lacks an obvious path to success for its residents. The Youth Department operationalized this project in October 1996.
3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?
Both process evaluation and outcome evaluation are utilized. The process evaluation measures the extent to which the program is in compliance with stated policies and procedures. This will be determined through the use of the record review process, management information system, and quality assurance protocols.
The outcome evaluation will measure the extent to which the goals and objectives for the program have been achieved, and goals and objectives for the clients have been achieved.
1.) To create a youth component which includes after school recreation, educational enrichment, support sessions and counseling to 150 children who are at risk of academic failure.
2.) To teach up to 50 parents how to use community resources to improve their childís chance of school success.
3.) To create a parent component which includes child development, parenting and social skill training, community development and child/family counseling for up to 50 parents.
4.) Sponsor two community fairs and two family nights.
4. How is the program financed?
The Detroit Youth Department received funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention ($263,000.00) and the Skillman Foundation ($160,000.00). The Lovelight Foundation expanded the program and as a result, a new playground ($120,000.00) was constructed on adjacent land for use by Cooper students and the community
5. How is the community involved in the program, if at all? How has the community responded to the program?
The Youth Department held a community meeting at Cooper before we began the planning process. A consultant from DRP made a presentation on the Communities That Care model and responded to questions from the audience. There were more than 100 people present including parents, community organization representatives and the religious community. We have also worked with the Human Services Coordinating Body which has convened meetings on the east side to plan wrap-around services for the community (another section of the east side). We have discussed our project with this body on several occasions to assure coordination of services.
6. What are major lessons learned from the program?
There have been three areas of concern primary with the Cooper Community Development Initiative over the first year and a half:
a. Accessing school records to acquire information necessary for the evaluation.
b. Recruiting parent to participate in the various program components proved to be a greater challenge than anticipated.
c. Maintaining processes whereby teachers have continuous input into the process and case management.
a. The lead agency, which has responsibility for collection the data necessary for evaluation and the representative from the Detroit Youth Department will work closely with the Cooper school principal to solidify the manner in which staff will access school records. They will collectively work with counselorsí and clerical staff to implement the data collection process.
b. We found that the Village Health Workers are well prepared to effectively recruit parents and community members to participate. Additionally, collaborative members will participate in parent/teacher conferences and will provide continuous information to both teachers and parents regarding program activities.
c. Teachers have quite a full load and are not looking for additional responsibility. While they are excited about the support services and are willing to cooperate, they find it difficult to incorporate additional meeting into their schedule. Therefore in addition to being included in team meetings, teachers and counselors will provide teachers with on-going progress notes and scheduled face-to-face updates.
7. Contact persons:
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.