After school programs both in schools and on-line that help younger children develop the leadership skills and positive habits to resist risky behavior.
BUILD helps young people beat the odds by offering year-round after-school and out-of-school programs starting as early as first grade. The Prevention staff get to know the youth and collaborate across BUILD to offer academic assistance, sports, STEM, arts enrichment, and more. They provide leadership development to help children stay safe, healthy, and focused on their futures.
Academic Tutoring and Support
Supporting children’s academic skills early not only helps with schoolwork but bolsters other areas of development, like inspiration, motivation and self-confidence. By providing a place for daily homework help and check-ins, BUILD initiates and de-stigmatizes academic support for children beginning in second grade, laying a foundation for future success.
Positive Social Environments
For many young people, BUILD’s after school program rooms are a true safe haven – a welcoming, accepting place with positive peers and supportive mentors. A place of encouragement and security. For young people with challenging home environments or social gang pressure, sometimes BUILD’s after school rooms are the only safe and positive places they have.
Community Service Projects and Leadership Development
During the year and in summer camps, prevention mentors always look for opportunities to involve young BUILDers in projects that give back to their neighborhoods. Not only do they help others and learn real project management skills, but looking outward to serve others is surprisingly healing and empowering, as youth realize their own power to help others. Serving others can be an important way to process trauma, while also teaching true leadership.
Restorative Justice Skill-building
Restorative justice practices teach people to engage with and repair relationships without destruction, to replace punishment with peaceful conflict resolution. Whether they realize it or not, young people in our prevention programs are taught these techniques from the start; Prevention mentors model and teach youth to employ intentional, inclusive, and respectful ways of responding to issues or problems that arise.
Cultural and Recreational Activities
Prevention programs seek to bring young BUILDers into different cultural traditions and communities, opening their eyes to worlds outside their neighborhood by immersing them in the arts, foods, landmarks, and traditions practiced joyfully in communities across Chicago. Exploring new traditions opens minds and helps form new unexpected connections.
Connecting youth with a positive community is a big part of violence prevention, and some of BUILD’s most popular activities are family nights. On these fun evenings BUILD mentors create a positive space for families and networks to gather and be together - enjoying sports, games, art projects, food, music, and learning about additional support services in a casual and relaxed environment. These nights end up strengthening bonds across all communities, families and beyond.
76% reported either zero or decreased negative peer-to-peer interactions.
82% reported engaging in more minutes of physical activity per day compared to last school year.
88% of youth who said they needed assistance with conflicts reported increasing their conflict resolution skills since being involved with BUILD.
89% said they either did not receive school disciplinary infractions in the current school year, or received fewer infractions since receiving BUILD services.
84% of youth who reported emotional struggles said they improved their ability to manage their emotions since being involved with BUILD.