Registration is open for young people ages 7-18 to take part in groups that assist with social interactions, stress management and more for the school year.
Since the start of the pandemic, many students have had limited social interactions, and some may be overwhelmed or feel anxious about returning to the classroom this fall. The Elk Grove Township Youth Services Department (YSD) offers an array of groups and mental health services to help young people ages 7-18 achieve social and emotional health. Fall registration is open now for in-person and virtual programming that begins September 15 and is designed to help participants experience positive social interactions, manage stress and experience empathy.
An experiential-based approach is taken, which focuses not only on the challenges experienced by young people, but also highlights current strengths and encourages drawing upon them in social situations.
Registration is based on need, age/grade and emotional maturity, and groups run from six to eight weeks. Fall groups include:
- Super Engaged Learner: empowers elementary school students to develop strategies helpful in managing their daily lives and helps them to learn how to socialize with peers
- Executive Function and Wellness: virtual group for high school students to help manage stress and anxiety, and take responsibility for schoolwork, effective communication and regulation of emotions
- Super Engaged Leader: adolescents are taught about social interactions, self-esteem, coping mechanisms and leadership skills
- Building Teen Community: *virtual group* for middle and high school students to learn how to optimize socialization, expand community engagement and build strong friendships
- Girls Empowerment Group: for tweens (pre-teens) and teens to learn how to handle uncertainty, peer pressure and negativity
- Morning Mindfulness: a series of short exercises for all ages to reduce anxiety and stay focused during the school day
YSD also partners with District 59 schools and provides services in individual classrooms, as well as through small groups or school assemblies. The emphasis is on building social and emotional skills so youth can be successful in the unique culture for each classroom or group they are involved in. Community building is encouraged, and useful strategies are provided to overcome challenges and issues they may be experiencing.
“The Township’s Youth Services Department is focused on helping our young people transition back to school, at a time where many understandably have apprehensions and concerns based on their experiences since the pandemic began,” said Elk Grove Township Supervisor George Busse. “What we are working to address is so extremely important to ensure they can develop emotionally and possess the social skills they need to thrive as they go back to school in person.”
YSD can provide services to various organizations at their facilities and/or at the Township building located at 600 Landmeier Road in Elk Grove Village. Youth Services has provided programming to such organizations as the scouts, church groups, police departments and libraries where sessions include topics such as social, emotional, life skills, regulating stress, peer pressure, bullying and empowerment.
“We challenge kids to improve upon their life skills and give them the tools they need to be successful in their families, with friends at school and in their future work lives,” said YSD Director Renee Dorn.
For more information or to register, call YSD at 847-981-0373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.