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RY Program Goals
• Increased School Performance
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.
1. Getting Started
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 at-risk youth experience depression and suicide-risk behaviors. The RY School Crisis Response Plan prepares school staff members 1) to identify and respond to students who are suicidal and 2) to respond, if necessary, with post-suicide intervention strategies.
RY also incorporates several social support mechanisms for participating youth:
An RY Class is made up of 10 – 12 students who are INVITED to participate and who meet the following criteria:
RY is an evidenced-based program:
When tested with potential high school dropouts, RY had significant effects:
See Research for more details.
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Overview provided by Dr. Kyle Barrington - 2021:
Reconnecting Youth (RY) is a program that helps high-risk youth succeed in school and decrease drug use, anger, depression, and suicidal behavior. The school-based program is designed for students aged 14-18 years. The program helps students develop skills and strategies for dealing with risk factors associated with school, peers, self and family. The program curriculum uses small group skills training in order to enhance personal competencies and social support resources. The lessons are fast-paced and interactive, incorporating many different learning styles. The students learn life skills that enhance protective factors associated with self-esteem enhancement, decision-making, personal control, and interpersonal communication. The RY class is part of the high-school curriculum, meeting daily or on a block schedule, and is offered for credit and graded. RY is a Tier 3 intervention within the PBIS framework and an Indicated program, that is to say a program designed for students who are already exhibiting signs of academic struggles, per the Institute of Medicine. The program has been selected as a model program by Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices and has been identified as a Promising Practice by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Suicide Prevention Resource Center rated RY as a program with evidence of effectiveness. Students completing the RY class experience increased school performance, increased mood management, decreased drug involvement, decreased suicide risk, and increased social and emotional controls such as personal control, problem-solving and coping (Eggert, et al., 1994, Eggertt & Herting, 1991).