All of the students that will benefit from this project participate in a therapeutic, self-contained, special education program. Our students receive services due to social, emotional, and behavioral issues. These students are all identified as high risk due to their ongoing history of disengagement from school based on truancy, academic barriers, and behavioral needs. The resources included in this project will assist us in providing students with healthy foods and snacks which will allow the staff to build connections with students by helping to meet a basic need.
The students in the program struggle to have their basic needs met outside of school and as a result, when we are able to provide them with snack and drink options we have seen a significant increase in school/class attendance, participation, and overall academic achievement.
In addition, the ability to eat when they are hungry has increased our ability to build positive relationships as they see that we care about them as a whole person. Our students are all residents of Hartford, CT and they have been identified as high risk in terms of graduation rates, access to and success within post-secondary education and/or training programs, and high rates of incarceration.
In the RISE Academy we offer our students small snacks and drinks to help eliminate the hunger that the majority of our students come to school with every day. All of the students in the RISE Academy are at-risk youth and have been placed in the program to receive social, emotional, and behavioral support within our therapeutic, self-contained setting. Unfortunately, these students often come to school hungry or without having enough to eat at home.
We increase student engagement in school, participation in class, overall work completion and academic achievement by eliminating hunger, one of their most basic needs.
Through the use of snack and drink options students are no longer battling their own hunger in order to concentrate in class and as a result, we have seen academic and behavioral improvements, an increase of positive participation within the school community, improved grades, and graduation of some of the school's most at-risk youth.
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