Digital Pathways provides essential technology and life skills to students in Tulare, California.
Utilizing a 21st Century Learning Grant, Instructional Access is providing essential technology and life skills to at-risk students through its Digital Pathways program. Currently, 7 junior high schools in the Tulare, California area benefit from this after-school program. 21st Century Learning Grants are the only federal funding source for after school programs, and research has shown the importance of these programs in the lives of children. Studies show that students participating in after school programs such as these demonstrate improvement in grades, behavior, and test scores, as well as have a lowered risk of drug use, violence, and teen pregnancy.
The Digital Pathways program is utilized in junior high schools which are feeder schools to the career and magnet high schools in Tulare. These schools have an extreme technological and digital focus. Digital Pathways aligns its curriculum to prepare these students for success in the high school career programs. A majority of students served are migrant and/or live below the poverty level.
One tool the Digital Pathways program utilizes to enhance the life skills of these junior high students is an online Independent Life Skills program provided by Lifetime Training Solutions (LTS), a division of Smart Horizons. “The LTS program is an incredible self-esteem and self-confidence builder for these at-risk students, as they are selected for this program. It gives them hands-on experience with technology and is preparing them to live and learn online,” states DeNae Reagins, Executive Vice President of Instructional Access.
Instructional Access works with administrators, teachers, and county coordinators to identify the courses that are most appropriate for junior high students. Life skills such as relationships; health and leisure; nutrition; tobacco, alcohol, and drug use; career preparation; teen safety; prejudice; and stereotyping are all taught, and these skills align with the mandates of the 21st Century Learning Grant. The LTS Life Skills program is all online; therefore, additional teachers are not needed for this part of the program allowing the grant money to be utilized in other areas of the after-school program.
Instructional Access along with Tulare’s very progressive and innovative team of educators have vision and understand the role they have in the lives of these at-risk students by providing them with access to technology they would otherwise be excluded from due to their living conditions.
The press release can be seen by clicking here.