Jericho Partnership is launching a comprehensive overhaul of its services to Danbury’s at-risk youth, to multiply the number of students it can reach with tutoring & mentoring programs and greatly increase its impact among young people in the city.
Leaders from Jericho and Pathways Danbury Youth Ministries have spent the last year talking with key community stakeholders and assessing both academic and socioeconomic needs of Danbury’s youth to determine the most effective way to use its resources to transform more lives.
They concluded that the best way to reach potentially hundreds more students in the city is to focus efforts on expanding tutoring, mentoring, public school-based reading and academic support via its existing CityServe and core programming.
Jericho’s youth ministry services will feature after-school academic tutoring programs and summer learning programs for at-risk students in K-12, life skills, Reading Buddy and academic support programs for students in up to six city elementary schools this coming year (a dramatic increase from the current three school Jericho is working with now), and center-based mentoring programs for girls and boys in grades 6 through 12.
To focus on these areas of great need and impact, Pathways Danbury Youth Ministries will close Pathways Academy, a middle school for boys it has operated since 2008, at the end of the current 2018-19 academic year.
“While the decision to close the school was a very difficult one, we’re moving ahead certain that the decision will pave the way for us to expand our ministry to students in Danbury with tutoring, academic support, and mentoring services in an impactful way,” said Jericho Partnership President Carrie L. Amos. “We’re going to be in a position to reach many more students. And, our current Academy students will still be among those we serve.”
The Academy is operating this year with just two grades (7th and 8th) instead of the usual 6th-8th grades. Leaders decided at the end of last school to open this year with a limited enrollment so that, if the outcome of the year-long evaluation was to close the school, fewer students would be affected. Jericho and Pathways leaders will work with the parents of the 15 current 7th graders to place them in schools best suited to meet their individual needs and are committed to supporting the transition in any way possible. These students will remain connected with Jericho Youth Ministries through its mentoring and after-school tutoring programs.
“We continue to feel a tremendous sense of calling to serve the youth of our city, and this change will allow us to reach many more students while increasing our commitment to excellence in stewardship,” said Bill Beattie, the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Jericho Partnership and Pathways Danbury Youth Ministries. “Recognizing that we must be good stewards of the resources God has sent our way, we determined that closing the school and instead expanding our academic support services will allow us to make more of an impact with our kids we are called to serve. We’ll do a better job meeting a growing need while remaining financially strong for the long term.”
“We’ve made a significant impact with the things that we set out to do with our school,” said Cedric Rice, founding and current Principal of The Academy. “It’s clear from statistics we’re seeing in Danbury that we’ve helped close the achievement gap among students here. While we’ll no longer be providing basic 6th-8th grade education, we will still be in the business of helping to develop our youth.”