PRO-Teen After School Program.
This program provides teens with an educational, safe and supervised place to be during the after school hours of 3-5pm. This runs Monday through Friday: We offer, free of charge, tutoring, recreational activities, educational programs including training in the skilled trades (welding, machining, carpentry, plumbing, DC and AC electrical, motor mechanics etc.). Professionals volunteer their time and expertise to mentor teens. New is the Recording Studio. Here, teens can create and professionally record their own music or create music with friends as a group. The young man who donated the equipment (a former teen leader now aged 22) will train teens to use the recording studio and learn valuable skills.
We have been collaborating with, and are funded by, Edgerton Alumni and Gifts for Kids, and Edgerton High School donated the milling machine and a lathe. We have been encouraged to work with the Alternative School system in regards to the high school and middle school aged students who attend that program. Joe Mink, the Tech Ed supervisor, is helping us work toward the creation of a High Mileage Car as a part of our educational workshop. Teens involved in the High Mileage Program will learn important engineering, math, team work, and research skills.
The PRO-Teen workshop is also open during the weekend hours.
Three Goals: Goal 1- is to place value on teens by is to provide an organic atmosphere where adult mentors build relationships with teens and as mentors provide teens with life guidance and counsel through the turbulent years of adolescence.
Goal 2- is to create for teens an educational experience where they will have the opportunity to learn skills that may interest them. By observation and hands on application teens can learn skills they otherwise may never have experienced.
Goal 3- is to create mentors who after they graduate will return and guide and teach teens through these established programs and future programs.
Edgerton is a rural community with a population of 5,520. Its becoming a bedroom community with less people investing in its infrastructure. At risk teens keep to themselves and do not seek educational opportunities through the school system.
Every community has a core need- to value its people. Teens are people too and need to feel valued.
The future of every community is its youth whether they live in it or move to it. Therefore, our programs are created to meet the core needs of the community while also preparing youth for the future.
The clients served are young people aged 13-19. Edgerton will benefit when its young people become skillful and healthy members of society. Teens grow in confidence and self worth as they learn and master difficult tasks. Self confidence is a huge asset. Because the teen center draws many at risk teens and because this program is non-threatening and separate from school we have success drawing the at risk student.
Since 2013, the teen center has been introducing young people to professional tradesmen who have been leading them in skills training. We measure program success in two ways.
Measuring Success #1- We measure success by teen involvement.
Our average attendance is 70 teens per week at the teen center which offers many amusement type attractions. Of the 70 teens, over 25% are involved in the PRO-Teen program. Teens regularly ask to work in the shop during regular after school and weekend hours. They bring their friends and introduce them to the program. We do not have to work at involving teens in the program-they come running.
Measuring Success #2- we measure success by watching teens develop personal relationships with adults. Whether or not a student pursues a vocational occupation is not the goal. Rather, we want teens involved with the process of learning and experiencing new things.