Diversified has been a leader in early childhood education and youth development for more than 100 years, dating back to our settlement house beginnings in the late 1800’s, through the establishment of our Dixon House in 1928, continuing through the incorporation of Diversified through the merger of the settlement houses in 1968.
DCS’ Western Learning Center (WLC) and Dixon Learning Academy (DLA) early childhood education centers are nationally recognized and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC sets the standard for quality early education with rigorous requirements and regulations regarding programming, staffing, and family and community involvement. Our early childhood education centers have both achieved Keystone STAR 4 ratings.
Our vision is a Point Breeze community that possesses a “high-performing network of early childhood education centers that use high impact, evidence-based, transformative approaches to provide young children with the building blocks to succeed in a high performing educational system and 21st century workforce.” These skills include both cognitive and soft skills such as adaptability, achievement, motivation, self-esteem, persistence, reliability, consistency, self-control, dependability, literacy, language, math and science.
By 2016, our goal is to have 100% of Dixon Learning Academy (DLA) and Western Learning Center (WLC) children from the Point Breeze community in South Philadelphia enter kindergarten with the cognitive skills and character package for success.
Diversified’s Out of School Time and 21st Century programs serve between 200 and 250 youth during the school year and over 300 youth during the summer for Kindergarten through 5th graders at Western Learning Center, Dixon Learning Academy, Stephen Girard Elementary School, and McDaniel Elementary School.
All our Out of School Time and 21st CCLC programs are Department of Public Welfare (DPW) licensed which enables us to enroll in the Keystone STARS program which provides technical assistance, professional development trainings for little or no cost, and additional funding opportunities.
The primary goal of the OST program is to better prepare Point Breeze’s K-5 children to meet their futures by teaching them to become better thinkers, problem solvers, and to make informed choices by teaching chess during the early development years. This goal aligns with our agency goals to improve educational and developmental outcomes of children in distressed communities, ensure that children have access to a continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions, and enhance school, home and neighborhood conditions so they are more nurturing and supportive.
OST’s intent is to have an enduring positive impact on our students’ critical thinking and social skills, and ability to achieve academically.
1. The immediate results we hope to achieve with the program are to excite kids about learning, school and engage them.
2. The anticipation of an engaging activity will increase students’ receptiveness to the lessons.
3. Connect students to academic material by engaging their interests, and fostering positive emotions.
Each of Diversified primary objectives aligns with the three goal areas for the Department of Human Services primary objectives:
DHS Goal Area 1: Life Skills
Create opportunities that focus on building youth assets and strengths as they transition through the various stages of their development.
DHS Goal Area 2: Academic Enrichment
Support youth to develop skills needed to achieve school success as demonstrated by grade promotion and high school graduation.
DHS Goal Area 3: College and Career Readiness
Youth actively participate in college and career readiness activities that contribute to clearly-defined, post-secondary goals.
The program also has support through community engagements from the Free Library of Philadelphia, Eagle’s Book Mobile, Streets Smart and parent volunteers. The staff is experienced in arts, dance, sports, and karate. They receive ongoing trainings that include First aid and CPR.
The Intensive Prevention Services program provides a comprehensive, intensive early intervention program for youth exhibiting high or at-risk behaviors that builds upon youths’ resiliency and sense of self-worth for positive outcomes and redirection. Through this Intensive Prevention Services program, a hybrid model of home and site-based programming. The primary program objectives are: (1) assist at-risk youth in achieving socially and academically through comprehensive intensive programming, and (2) prevent at-risk youths’ entry or re-entry into the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice System. Intensive Prevention Services is a program operated in collaboration with Family Court for those youth that are court-involved. Youth and families receive a range of services through 11-15 hours of weekly contact and engagement through site and home-based services. Service delivery generally ranges from 120-180 days with the opportunity for service extension approved by the Department of Human Services.
Service Philosophy – The Intensive Prevention Services Program provides a safe and holistic environment for at-risk youth to develop themselves and their confidence, through an engaging, supportive and strengths-based environment. Programs are asset and strengths-based.
Program youth are referred from the Court, the Department of Human Services, and outside agencies as appropriate who meet the following criteria: 10 – 17 years old, and one or more of the following four criteria:
· Suspended 3 or more times from school or expelled in the past 12 months
· Arrested within the past 12 months but not adjudicate
· History of running away
· Chronically truant
Youth attend site-based programming three times per week, three- four hours each day for individual and group counseling and case management, academics, parent involvement and general positive youth development activities which are documented in CBPS database.
– local public schools (Stephen Girard, McDaniel and Smith Elementary Schools)
– Universal Companies
– The City of Philadelphia Graduation Coach Campaign, “Philly Rising” to combat youth violence