A bright future is the right of all youth. Entering into adulthood is never easy but imagine how you might feel if you couldn’t read, write or comprehend what was being spoken or asked of you. A bright future would be (not so bright) almost impossible.
We finish high school and are expected to either enhance our education or find a job. What do you do if you aren’t able to comprehend written or verbal instructions? Many young adults have grown up living in poverty, they are illiterate not by choice but by their circumstances. Some suffer with learning disabilities; some have been abused and live in situations where the environment was not conducive to learning. We want to create a program that contributes to learning and will lead our youth toward a brighter more positive future.
The facilitators of the YES program are determined to change the dubious outcome of many of the youth that enter our programs. We have in the past increased their work and life skills and for the future we hope to increase their literacy skills with the use of “Disruptive Innovation,” Fast ForWord technology from Scientific Learning. This technology is quickly becoming the go to ‘learning tool’ in the US. The technology utilizes new information based on brain plasticity. Brain plasticity suggests that the brain is modifiable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3TQopnNXBU We can change the way we think, perceive and we can learn to comprehend in a more efficient manner.
Research shows a significant number of children in the South Cariboo struggle with learning. The Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre and the community are working to develop preventative measures ensuring our children succeed. Some youth in our region, of 15,000 members, are in crisis and have fallen through the cracks. These youth have not received suitable early learning interventions, some have become "youth at risk." They now need an innovative intervention that can link literacy and comprehension to their work and life skills. Youth in crisis at the YES Program will utilize “Disruptive Innovation” to develop their literacy and comprehension skills with a highly recognized innovative program from Scientific Learning, Fast ForWord.
Our solution: continue assisting youth with barriers, increase needed life and work skills but with emphasis on their ability to read and comprehend proficiently. Utilizing brain plasticity by incorporating the scientifically researched and field proven Fast ForWord software into our program increases literacy and comprehension, this is essential for gaining employment.
The Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre (CFEC) has offered the Youth Employment Services Program (YES) in our Region successfully since 2007. The program’s goal: assist youth with barriers(including Indigenous Peoples, single and/or young parents, women, youth with addictions and complex developmental behavioral conditions including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder/Fetal Alcohol Effects, Attention Deficit Disorder, Dyslexia, etc)gain skills to find and maintain employment.
Fast ForWord is a "Disruptive Innovation" that will permit youth struggling with barriers succeed in finding work and enhancing their life.
Our youth struggle with personal disabilities/barriers on a daily basis, it is our job to remain flexible and open to the needs of our youth. A typical day consists of:
Positive reflective check –in
Work or life skills workshop/s – ppt presentations, role playing, group activities
The YES program is 15 weeks. Youth attend group based skills development workshops for 8 weeks. The remaining 7 weeks youth are engaged in work experience at local businesses in the community.
Youth will participate in Fast ForWord learning activities during the program for 50 min/day for an average of 12-15 weeks. After 8-12 weeks of using the Fast ForWord technology, youth can "discriminate among subtle sound differences and can cognitively process oral language better and faster, therefore, leading to better listening, comprehension, focus, working memory and organizational skills."
"Scientific Learning applies advances in neuroscience and cognitive research to accelerate learning by building student brain capacity. Our programs are based on more than 30 years of foundational research on how the brain learns. Scientific Learning calls its approach the Optimal Learning Equation. There are three sides to the Optimal Learning Equation:(1)Brain Fitness is improving the learner’s ability to capture, process and retain proven instruction;(2)Individualized Learning is a set of research-based, adaptive exercises that individualize instruction;(3)Implementation Fidelity is a mutual commitment leading to academic success and maximizing a return on your investment" Scientific Learning.
Our peers, Work BC/Horton Ventures, GROW - Adult Learning, Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy work to address some of the needs we see every day. We have no direct competition in our region, but research into other YES programs in BC shows variance in how they operate. As of yet they do not offer an employment program where youth learn to develop self awareness through mindfulness, meditation and yoga. Our youth develop skill sets, in a positive atmosphere, in all areas of life based on their unique strengths, values and character. The model we are designing is ‘strengths based’ with the inclusion of "Disruptive Innovation" Fast ForWord technology. Our passion for our youth and utilizing innovative, sustainable technology sets us apart from other Youth Employment Services Program.