Building self-esteem, pride, and a sense
of personal and group responsibility were
important elements of Community Connections.
Community Connections is a four-week transition program during the summer for
at-risk 8th grade students who are preparing to enter high school in the fall.
The program, which is run by Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis, Oregon,
opened its doors in the summer of 2000. It features mental health, alcohol and
drug counseling, communication, anger management, team building, art, music,
writing, applied technology, field biology, movement, and school-to-career opportunities.
Classroom instruction is coordinated with career education, paid and unpaid
structured work experience, and community service. The number of student participants
is limited so that the program can be customized to meet students' individual
needs. A key to the success of Community Connections is the supportive network
of community ties for each student. The program has extensive collaborative
partnerships with state, county and city institutions and agencies as well as
with community volunteers, neighboring school district staff, businesses, and
some participants' families.