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To provide quality after-school programming to children and youth that instills values, integrity and self-worth through education, thus strengthening the child, the family and the community.
My Choice is the result of a community survey conducted in 2000 to determine the primary needs of the residents in the West Palm Beach-Riviera Beach areas, which were prioritized as after-school care, homework assistance, parenting skills, and job readiness skills.My Choice's commitment to strengthening families is manifested in its menu of programs, which include:
§ Homework Assistance: Students receive homework assistance, including one-on-one tutoring, provided by teachers, older students, and volunteers to draw from a variety of resources to tackle difficult homework.
§ Computer Training: Students receive basic and advance computer training to include an understanding of the parts of the computer, typing, and using Microsoft Word. In addition, they learn to use the Internet to research information for their schoolwork and other projects.
§ Literacy: My Choice in partnership with Palm Beach Literacy Coalition offers 'KidzLit' curriculum, which greatly influences children's literacy development. Through this concept, children are exposed to an environment rich in language and print. Students have opportunities to practice and develop literacy skills through intelligent discussions with adults, storytelling, reading, listening games and other activities.
§ Character Development: This component of the program is geared towards creating "Communities of Character". It includes career growth and personal development. For example, activities under career growth are designed to involve youth and adults in a systematic approach to making career decisions such as discovering and defining their career interests, exploring characteristics and requirements of specific occupations, interning on jobs relating to their career interests and abilities, and developing plans and setting goals to enter the occupation of their choice. Topics include career aptitude, career counseling, resume writing, job search, interviewing skills, portfolio management, handling stress, time management, and office etiquette. Under personal development activities include team work training (team leadership training, training in decision-making), self-esteem building, conflict resolution, life skills training, Substance Abuse Education, and Sexual Health Education. The goal of this component is to provide youth with the techniques for working in groups and team settings, developing leadership skills, and identifying positive role models within the community.
§ Visual and Liberal Arts
o Art and Crafts - In partnership with The Norton Museum PACE (Progressive After-school , students experience a variety of creative expressions; drawing, painting, colors, as they develop creative works that express their personal style and creativity.
o Drama Troupe - Dramatic presentations will serve to reinforce the written or instructional messages students receive daily.
- Music - Students gain an appreciation of the music and the message. This includes cultural styles, diverse rhythms, instruments and the lyrics. While incorporating reading of music, students also improve their math scores.
- Dance - Through dance expression, students learn discipline, routine, poise, and physical fitness for specific performances as well as fun. My Choice believes when students participates in activities that display their talents, they are more likely to perform better in school and will avoid negative influences. Dance styles include step, modern, African, Calypso, etc.
§ Recreation/Team Sports - My Choice engage students in recreational activities as part of a fitness regimen that will promote discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship as an alternative to violence and drug use. Activities will include flag football, basketball, and baseball.
§ Parenting Classes - These classes provide parents with guidance on talking with their children about sensitive matters (i.e. sex and drugs). They also address the challenges of single-parenting and cultural issues regarding child rearing and child abuse. Parents will develop the necessary skills to establish guidelines within their homes for a safe, healthy family unit of mutual respect.
§ Peer Leadership Training - Students receive leadership training through the Boys Scouts of America Curriculum. My Choice has collaborated with other organizations to enhance students' social skills and develop positive community involvement. From this group, our My Choice Ambassadors are chosen; they become spokes persons for the Center and the voice of the youth population.
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