Academic & Character Development (ACE)

Open Door continues to be committed to the current at-risk youth population, as well as future at-risk populations, by providing ongoing academic support,  behavior modification strategies,  combined with education awareness for gang intervention, recruitment prevention, and outreach services.  Our strategic planning and collaborative efforts will continue to provide structure,  positive leadership &  guidance, and positive alternatives to gang cultures and lifestyle.

Academic Support

Open Door Staff and Volunteers provide intensive in-school mentoring and tutoring to at-risk youth. We monitor their behavioral and academic progress daily while structuring a solid foundation of character education to ensure the healthy development of our ACE Ambassadors.  With the support and assistance of the Principal and staff of Wyatt Academy; we are supplied with each student’s’ test scores (Benchmark Test) at the start and end of the school year. Principal Wes also supplies a monthly behavioral report outlining the student’s emotional and behavioral status. This method is combined with a daily accredited educational based curriculum or group based activity. All information is documented into each student’s individual file that outlines and provides proof of their rapid progress and growth. The program provides structured activities and exposure to experiences outside the usual urban environment such as trips to the Mountains, Denver Zoo, Museum of Nature and Science, Art Museum, local universities, and regional parks. The goal is to provide exposure to cultural activities that will expand thinking about future potential and opportunities for them as they grow.

After-School Structure

Students participate in a two-hour, four-day per week, an after-school program that operates within the Academic and Character Education Guidelines. The ACE Program is designed to reach out to school children ages 5-14 through daily in-school and after-school programs. Among other things, daily programs address three potential risk factors that have been proven to lead to antisocial behavior:  (1) poor academic skills; (2) lack of prosocial decision-making and attitudes; and (3) lack of adult supervision during high-risk times of the day. During the normal school year, the ACE Program operates at Wyatt Academy K-8 in cooperation with administrators and staff. The ACE program currently offers each student enrolled in the after school program personal counseling and guidance on a one on one basis. Each mentor provides intensive intervention and structure based on each child’s individual needs

Family Support/Parent Connection

The Parent Connection includes monthly parent/child support groups and in-home visits. The meetings and visits are intended to assist parents in helping their children to build the skills necessary to prevent participation in gang activities. In addition, group meetings provide an opportunity for parents who are experiencing similar challenges a chance to support, assist one another and solve common problems.

The Parent Connection is an obligation that Open Door asks parents/guardians to actively participate in to support the program’s goals through parent education, student-parent activities, discussion and other relevant program activities.

Positive Leadership

Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives thrives on providing our at-risk population in low-income, disadvantaged communities with opportunities of empowerment and success.  We will continue to encourage, support, and guide these individuals in the direction of restorative justice, to positively impact the quality of their lives.  Our hope is that we can teach them to think differently in order to enhance their relationships with family, peers, law enforcement, and the community.  It takes a village to raise a child, and we are honored to lead the way in a positive, structured, and disciplined environment that allows for these at-risk individuals to reach their fullest potential and be successful in life.

Goals

Open Door’s most important goal is to prevent kids from ever joining gangs and therefore has developed successful programs that focus on gang recruitment prevention amongst elementary-aged children. These programs are tailored for schools, corporations, other non-profit agencies, law enforcement agencies and community civic groups. The programs seek to educate as many as possible and are designed to involve all segments of our community in the education of gang-related violence and community awareness. Understanding the philosophy that the most effective way to control the growth of gangs in the community is to stop the gang recruitment of potential youth.