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Downers Grove Township Life Skills Program reaches far

Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014 2:53 p.m. CDT
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Jason Shiliga is the Youth Education Coordinator for the Downers Grove Township.

The Downers Grove Township's youth education program, entitled "Life Skills" has successfully completed another school year. Julie Waterman and Jason Shiliga, the youth educators at the township, visited 21 schools in the past school year and taught classes to over 3,400 students in the township.

Our program is designed to help supplement the school's social and emotional learning standards, as set forth by the Illinois State Board of Education. Many schools are not only faced with a budget crunch in these times, but also a time crunch.

The Illinois State Board of Education mandates the various learning standards that all schools must meet during a students' academic career. Based on these, schools sometimes struggle with other standards such as social and emotional learning. These social and emotional learning standards are designed to give students a better understanding of how their lives are affected in more ways than just grades.

This time crunch is where Downers Grove Township Life Skills Program steps up. Julie and Jason work with the 21 local schools fulfill this need. A majority of this time is spent on lesson plans with a focus on character education that promotes a better understanding of empathy.

Now with the school year over, our instructors will take the summer redeveloping plans to insure the most effective and interactive activities, such as Julie attending a seminar on female youth bullying.

We would also like to take a moment and send out a very heartfelt thank you to the 21 schools and the various teachers and social workers we work with.

As life skills teachers, we fully appreciate the time it takes to successfully teach our classes, and that means taking time away from regular classes. Without the partnership of these local schools and educators, this Downers Grove Township Life Skills Program would not be a success.

More information can be found on our website: http://www.dgtownship.com.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, @DGTLifeSkills, for information on our programs and other relevant information related to our classes.

Jason Shiliga is the Youth Education Coordinator for the Downers Grove Township.

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