Project Promise’s programs are all about opening doors for our at-risk youth in St. Croix, in order to uplift, educate and empower them. Our holistic approach provides many opportunities for positive change, while our nurturing environment provides a safe place in which youth can get the tools and support they need to live healthier, happier and more successful lives.
The Caterpillar Project
8 YEARS OF SUPPORT
The Caterpillar Project is a long-term program designed to make a significant difference in the lives of at-risk youth in St. Croix. The Project’s initial pilot group of selected fifth-grade students meet with staffers after school on a daily basis through high school and into college. The Caterpillar Project is a positive “support system” for these youth, and will provide close ties to adults who take a personal interest in their growth and development.
THIS HOLISTIC PROGRAM INCLUDES:
Weekly one-on-one sessions with a trained life coach to build self-esteem, vision, hope and self-worth; and help participants learn how to set and achieve goals. The Life Coaching component promotes personal and social growth, thus helping the youth become more responsible and accountable, and ultimately lead fulfilling and purposeful lives.
Similar to a “Big Brother/Big Sister” program, participants are carefully matched with rigorously screened, trained, and supervised volunteer mentors, who each commit to at least one year of service. Bi-weekly one-on-one meetings and an evidence-based mentoring program provide consistent encouragement and guidance to help youth get and stay on the right path.
Learning to give of yourself to help others is an integral part of the growth process. Participants take part in meaningful projects focused on the revitalization of our community. These projects also function as team-building activities, which foster responsibility and self-esteem, and help youth develop a stronger sense of attachment to our community.
Designed to supplement classroom instruction, the Educational Intervention component uses an individualized approach to help students achieve grade-level proficiency in reading and math, approach learning in a different way, and reach their full academic potential overall.
Participants receive support identifying, researching, and exploring their career/vocational interests. The curriculum motivates youth to plan for their future and acquire the skills and credentials needed for career success. Whenever possible, participants are also paired with rigorously-screened volunteers to gain hands-on experience in the field.
Interactive activities teach participants mindfulness techniques (such as breathing techniques, progressive relaxation, meditation and yoga), how to make good food choices, preventative health information, and more. Ultimately the Personal Wellness component helps strengthen character and self-discipline.
Starting with group activities and eventually expanding to activities based on individual student interest, this component engages participants in the creative process and builds confidence and self-esteem through art. Youth get the opportunity to do something positive with their time and talents, and learn how to channel their energies towards a positive outcome.
Many of our youth know little to nothing about the Virgin Islands’ rich cultural heritage. The Cultural Awareness component uses fun, hands-on activities and numerous field trips to explore St. Croix’s vibrant past. Participants are introduced to the Virgin Islands’ traditional foods, music, dances, natural resources, literature, and history.
FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES
The Family Support component links participants’ parents with needed resources. It also gives parents the tools to effectively communicate with and participate in their children’s lives. To remove barriers to participation, transportation to and from the evening meetings, a healthy meal, and child care for younger children are provided.
YEAR SIX: Partnered with local businesses to provide Internship Opportunities for our Caterpillars.
Salt River Bay’s
“Open Outdoors For Kids” Program
The Every Kid in a Park Program offers every public school fourth grade student the opportunity to visit and learn about the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve. The three-point program includes an introductory powerpoint presentation to the park at the school, followed by an on-site park tour, and a post-experience in-class visit by the instructor to review what was learned.
The Visitor Center Tour introduces students to Salt River Bay’s incredible history. They explore Taino culture by viewing artifacts and a PowerPoint presentation. They also discover the story of Columbus’ encounter, where it occurred, and learn about Taino cosmology in a craft-making exercise. Students tour the west side of the park and learn about the natural resources through ranger led activities. During the post-experience visit to the school, students participate in a question and answer session about Salt River Bay’s historical and natural significance.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Power point presentation
Post-park activity and Q & A;
Students should bring lunch, hats, sneakers and shoes that can get wet.
Transportation is provided/arranged by the Project Promise, pick-up time is 8:15am, drop off time is no later than 2:00pm.