DHHS

Positive Youth Development Programs at Daniel Hand High School

Peer Advocates

This program trains students to be resources to their fellow peers.  The 11 week training focuses on self-awareness, communication skills, crisis intervention, and knowledge of available resources. Following the training, monthly “Alumni” meetings are held with all members. 

These trained Peer Advocates learn to respond effectively when their fellow students experience a wide range of difficulties, and they receive valuable coaching in connecting vulnerable peers to appropriate resources. If you are interested in this program please contact Melissa Balletto


Reach Out

 September

“Reach Out” is a welcome/orientation program run by Madison Youth & Family Services’ Peer Advocates in collaboration with the Daniel Hand High School Department of Guidance and Counseling.  “Reach Out” is a student-to-student project conceived of and organized to ease the transition to a new school for students coming to DHHS from other towns, other schools and other school systems.  Peer Advocates facilitate this group.


Boys Council Group

Boys Council provides boys with a space to learn and practice skills that will help them in school, sports, and home life. These skills contribute to their development into respected young males within their school and community. Topics covered include healthy competition, active listening, boys and their emotions, technology, and media portrayal of males, and more. Lessons adapted from One Circle Foundation’s, Boy’s Council Program. 


Community Service

This program trains students each summer, who are then invited to participate in a variety of community service events throughout the community.  If you are interested in this program please contact Melissa Balletto


Roots

Roots is a student-led group that empowers youth to grow, strengthen, and support one another and their community. By welcoming all students, roots enables members to advocate, lead, and engage in important issues through creating a caring and positive culture. If you are interested in this program please contact Melissa Balletto 


Safe Rides

Safe Rides is a confidential, student-to-student transportation service, which operates on Friday and Saturday nights from 10:00 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. during the school year. 

The primary purpose of Safe Rides is to keep people alive and safe by providing a safe ride home. A safe-Rides program focuses on an extremely high need to keep our friends and other drivers on the road safe when either their parents or another responsible party is not available to drive them home. Not only has the Safe-Rides program been used to prevent drunk driving, but also for a variety of reasons such as teens that need a safe ride home from work ranging from their ride having had too much to drink at a party, to a parent returning from a night out who may be under the influence and needing to get the babysitter home. If you are interested in this program please contact Melissa Balletto


Grade 9

9th grade Health classes (Stress & Suicide)

Day 1 focuses on stress and how it is a critical part of life. Discussion focuses on common types of stress for high school students, understanding when stress is too much, and healthy coping skills. Each student is asked to develop a personal stress management plan before the end of class. 

Day 2 focuses on toxic stress, anxiety, depression and suicide. Discussion focuses on the connection between these topics, identifying the differences, the relevancy of survey data about these topics, and identifying resources in the school.  

These lessons were developed with the help of the PE/Health Department.


9th grade sexual and gender identity

Discussion on nature verses nurture addressing that many parts of who we are can be neither or both, and addressing binaries and discussion on the spectrum of gender, sexuality, attraction, and presentation.


Grade 11

11th grade “Guy Talk”

Guy talk is a two class open discussion with young men about stereotypes, violence, pornography, leadership and more. 

Day 1 focuses on these topics directly. 

Day 2 is an opportunity for the 11th grade students to ask anonymous questions about anything discussed on day one or anything they’d like to discuss. Popular questions include topics such as college, relationships, drugs and alcohol, and mental health.


11th grade “Girl Talk” 

This open discussion format offers an opportunity for the 11th grade students to ask anonymous questions about anything they’d like to discuss. Popular questions include topics such as college, relationships, drugs and alcohol, sex, and mental health.


Girls United

This is a high school girls group that provides a safe environment to talk about current events, issues that girls face daily.  This group is a structured group for girls; it integrates relational theory, resiliency practices, and skills 

training in a specific format designed to increase positive connection, personal and collective strengths, and competence in girls. If you are interested in this program please contact Melissa Balletto.


G.A.S.P (Gender and Sexualities Program)

Dedicated to providing a forum for confidential conversations about a variety of issues including homophobia, family, sexual identity, how to support friends, where to find information, and raise awareness of issues faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community.  If you are interested in this program please contact Erin Corbett.


High Five Mentoring ✋

This program matches K-3rd graders with highly-motivated, well qualified high school students to provide guidance and positive role modeling.  Each high school mentor has to complete a mentor training before participating in the program.  Jeffrey students are referred by staff at Jeffrey school.

Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset. 

If you are interested in this program please contact Melissa Balletto.

Source: MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership


Mentoring Matters

This program matches 4th and 5th graders with highly-motivated, well qualified high school students to provide guidance and positive role modeling. Within the bounds of this positive peer relationship and through mutuality of experience, all young people are given further opportunity to thrive and expand their horizons.

Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset. 

Source: MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership


Choices

High School students go to an 8th grade health class to review high school scenarios and answer 8th graders questions about high school. These visits happen once per trimester to each 8th grade health class.


Community Service Training (Summer Program)

This training is available to students in 7th-12th grade that are interested in becoming more involved in and connected to their community. Once the training is complete, students will have the opportunity to volunteer at various locations. 

Sign Up Form

Email Derek Cornwell at cornwelld@madisonct.org for more information.



sign up for Daniel Hand High School Programs