WhyTry© is an evidence-based program that emphasizes social and emotional learning for youth who are at risk. Many of Youth First's School Social Workers are trained in this program and can use it as a tool for selected at-risk individuals and groups in 4th-8th grades. It is an excellent approach for youth who are unmotivated or have had poor academic success and low expectations of themselves.
The WhyTry materials provide simple hands on tools for helping youth learn important life skills such as:
Students experience multi-sensory lessons that include journaling, music and physical activities. Each has one of ten visual analogies (pictures) that relate to specific problems and special challenges that at risk youth face in their every day lives. Each picture includes various solutions and questions to help youth gain insight in dealing with their own challenges.
Many of the difficulties that youth face can be translated into learning opportunities with the help of the WhyTry Program. Each analogy is to help youth answer the question, "Why try in life?" when they are frustrated, confused, or angry with life's pressures and challenges.
The WhyTry Program teaches youth that it is worth trying hard in life. It offers real solutions and presents these solutions in a way that the youth can both understand and remember. The program teaches self esteem and stresses that although making good decisions can be difficult, doing so will help give the youth more opportunity, freedom and self-respect.
Youth First has piloted WhyTry© with 19 students in two elementary schools. Teachers and Social Workers reported seeing positive changes in the participating students. When comparing pre and post tests, students who completed the program appeared to be more likely:
The evaluation of this program will continue as it is implemented at more schools.
A longitudinal study conducted in December 2003 at Alpine School District in Utah, students showed a significant improvement in GPA, completing their high school careers with GPA's 0.62 points higher than the control group. In addition, students who completed the WhyTry Program had fewer absences, exhibited a significant reduction in failed courses, and found that students who participated in the program were three times more likely to graduate than the control group.
In a study conducted by Spectrum Consulting for the Granite School District in Utah, Dr. Eric J. Gee, Director of Research and Evaluation, conducted a study focusing on students understanding and insight into their behaviors. Dr. Gee concluded that students participating in the WhyTry Program reported significantly improved understanding of key social and emotional principles, including self-motivation, consequences, peer pressure, and obeying laws and rules.
Youth First works in partnership with area schools to secure funding and to insure the highest quality coordination and implementation. Youth First provides:
Thank you so much to our generous Life Savers supporters: