News

CHEFA Grant

Waterbury Youth Services has been awarded a $41,394 grant from Connecticut Health & Education Facilities Authority (CHEFA) to double the size of its after-school program for high school students, Linking Academics to Life, for the 2018/2019 school year.

Linking Academics to Life (LAL) is a free afterschool program that helps students excel in academics while learning critical time management and life skills. The program runs Monday-Thursday from 3pm-5pm and students can choose to enroll in one of four focus areas: Journalism, Entrepreneurial Program, Woodworking, or Senior Preparation. Tutoring and homework assistance is offered every day.

“Each year, we have a long wait list of students trying to get into our LAL program,” says Waterbury Youth Services’ Executive Director Kathi M. Crowe. “This CHEFA grant will allow us to nearly double the capacity of our LAL program. The impact will be far reaching and life changing, as in recent years, 100% of LAL seniors get into college, according to Crowe.

 

“CHEFA is pleased to support Waterbury Youth Services’ after school program for high school students. The Linking Academics to Life Program prepares students and their families with college and career planning and valuable life skills, providing opportunities as they move to the next stage of their lives” said Jeanette Weldon, Executive Director for CHEFA.

 

Students in the LAL program must attend school daily in order to participate and maintain a minimum C grade point average. If they fall below a C, the program provides individual tutoring. In addition to the four focus areas and tutoring components, LAL youth participate in themed celebrations, college tours, financial literacy workshops, community service, and other activities. Monthly "Family Nights" educate parents on the school system and college application process, and encourage parent participation in the LAL program.

Youth are also offered monthly stipends dependent on school and program attendance and academic achievement. This serves as an additional motivator and way to increase school performance. It also allows youth who might otherwise have to work after school to participate in the program and focus on their academics. The LAL focus areas offer experience that can translate into valuable employment skills.

For more information, contact Kathi Crowe at 203-573-0264 x 301

A Heartfelt Thank You

Heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to Waterbury Youth Services during Give Local sponsored by Connecticut Community Foundation. By supporting WYS, you affirmed your confidence in our efforts to guide youth to discover their unique talents and potential for success. Thank you for being a partner in strengthening our community! We are so grateful for your support.

Never Give Up

Never give up and pay it forward is the message from CJ, WYS student since 2014. "Kids go through a lot at home, at school. It’s easy to give up. WYS has been a big support system for me. Once you start there, you feel like family. WYS has always given me somewhere to go, kept me out of trouble, kept me in the right state of mind. It’s just been a really big help. I love music. I love dancing, especially Hip Hop and R&B. I love working with kids. So now, I’m a volunteer dance instructor at WYS. I hope to have the same effect on the kids that WYS had on me."

National Safe Place Week

Special thanks to the Waterbury Mayor's Office for proclaiming March 18 - 24, 2018 as National Safe Place Week to bring attention to the programs in place to assist youth in crisis. Safe Place is essential as it connects youth to services when they are in crisis and need help the most. Waterbury has 14 sites, including the city’s fire houses, throughout the city designated as sites for young people experiencing crisis, whether it be homelessness, abuse, neglect or physical violence.

Pictured (from left): Joseph Geary, Waterbury Youth Services staff, including Youth & Family Emergency Services Director Marianne Malanaphy, Director of Program Operations Laura Cummings and Executive Director Kathi Crowe, and on the right, Waterbury Assistant Fire Chief Michael Couture.

Santa’s Workshop Sponsors

On behalf of Waterbury Youth Services and Santa's Workshop, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our sponsors and to all of our auction item donors. Their generous contribution and continued support helped to make this year’s event a great success! Santa’s Workshop, together with our caring community, help to brighten the holidays for hundreds of local youth and their families in the Greater Waterbury Area!

Reasons To Be Thankful

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."~W.T. Purkiser.

We have many reasons to be thankful this holiday season! Because of the generosity of our supporters and our caring community, we were able to provide a Thanksgiving feast for all of our youth and their families and distribute Thanksgiving baskets with everything needed to cook a complete turkey dinner to 90 families.

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make it possible for all of our families to have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal:

  • Ginny Ciochetti and the Marie & Pat Ciochetti Foundation donated 40 turkeys to give out to our families.
  • KBE Building Corp in Farmington and their staff collected and delivered 50 boxes full of everything needed for a complete Thanksgiving dinner to our Agency.
  • LaBonne’s Market in Watertown allowed Waterbury Youth Services to collect donations for our Thanksgiving food drive at their store.
  • The coaches, parents and students of the Sacred Heart Soccer Team cooked and severed dinner to 100 of our youth and their family members.
  • Waterbury Youth Services staff, interns and volunteers collected, sorted, packed and gave out donations.

Preparing For A Successful Future

Youth from our after school programs attended several college fairs/days this month! Our WIOA (Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act) program attended the Danbury College Fair, where they had the opportunity to learn about the 220 colleges/universities/programs that are available to them. They also were able to spend one on one time with advisors and college students. Our Senior Prep Program attended the Boys & Girls Club College Day and Woodworking and Entrepreneurial Program attended the CJR College Day.These field trips are just one of the many ways our programs help youth work towards a successful future and to accomplish their goals.

Connecting Youth To Nature

Through Disney's "Reverse The Decline, Increase the Time" initiative, youth at our Kiwanis Camp are learning about the magic of nature! Waterbury Youth Services is participating in the 2017 Disney 4-H Connecting Youth to Nature Grant. The grant gives youth the opportunity to increase the time they spend exploring the great outdoors. Through a series of nature walks and art projects the youth are learning about nature and ways we can help protect our environment to make it a better place.

United Way Day Of Action

Today is a very special day, United Way Day of Action. Thank you to Liberty Bank and Torrco, Inc., and to their very special staff who gave of their time and talents to help Waterbury Youth Services. The group painted our Youth Resource Room and our Computer Lab with bright beautiful colors. What a great group of volunteers and what an awesome job they did! Thank you to all the volunteers who participated in the United Way Day of Caring and for helping to make our community a better place!

End Of The School Year Celebration

Waterbury Youth Services held our annual "End Of The Year Party" for our after-school programs. Our youth did a fantastic job presenting their projects and highlighting their accomplishments from the past year. We are so proud of all our youth!! After the presentations, awards were given out and everyone enjoyed a barbecue. What a great way to end the school year!