Independence Charter School has recently taken on a new program and I am lucky enough to be member of the team running it. Here is a brief description of the program,
“Middle School FAST is a ten-week program aimed at preteens and teens (6th – 8th grade). It is used to build success factors in kids and families during the critical transition years, as children become youths and start to make decisions that will affect them in life. Like all FAST programs, Middle School FAST uses a process that connects kids and parents while it builds protective factors around older children so they can safely make better choices, stay safe and off drugs and begin to find their direction in life.
Our goal is to help kids become aware of their choices and capabilities, to use their strengths to prevent bad habits, while discovering success strategies.
In this program, as in life, the kids participate at a more advanced level and are expected to take responsibility for some of the planning and activity components for the sessions and at home. Parents increase communication with kids, and become counselors, mentors, and role models as they setup accountability structures for improved family function.”
I have watched to program grow over the last five weeks. We have about nine families that are coming to every session. I love the culture this program creates within our school. Families are able to eat a meal together, parents are able to talk to other adults within the school, the youth has a space to vent about their daily problems… this program has been beneficial to every person involved. I have also enjoyed watching our FAST team work together. We have such a devoted team that puts in an effort that goes beyond what is required for the program. You can see that each person truly cares about the families happiness and that they are progressing from a program like this.
My title within the program is Recreation Partner. I am in charge of taking care of siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or anyone that is not a youth/parent participating. I created a group of games for the program that center around a “Minute-to-Win-it” theme. The kids rotate to various stations for the 90 minutes they are with me. We never stop moving!
This week we will attempt our first art project. I am gathering materials for the kids to make a list of their house rules. They started last week… this is what I hope the finished projects look like :
I hope next year we are able to take on an elementary school fast program!