School Based Program
It costs more to incarcerate a youth in New York State than it does to teach them
Council for Unity’s School Based Model is a credit bearing course in either English or Social Studies. We provide curriculum design, training, and technical assistance for our program. Our School Based Model incorporates a strong academic focus, community service initiatives, and interpersonal skill building exercises for students. A fundamental goal of this program is to unite the student body while promoting unity, safety, and achievement. CFU partners with administrators, faculty and non-pedagogical staff to generate annual plans to adapt our curriculum to match the local needs of the school.
This model focuses on building participants’ skill-sets as they design and implement projects that serve the school and community, which results in youth who are prepared to become engaged citizens, as well helping them develop the skills to make them classroom and workplace ready.
“Council for Unity has been a tremendous tool in transforming the culture at PS 228. CFU is a powerful gamechanger in our efforts to create a bully-free zone. Every school in New York City needs CFU.”
-Dominic D’ Angelo
Principal, PS 228
After-School Based Program
After school programs are essential to at-risk youth to ensure that they gain the confidence and social skills necessary to set goals for success and to achieve them. This program is a supplement to our school-based model and allows us to continue supporting students beyond the classroom. The CFU curriculum remains the centerpiece of this initiative, along with activities that foster leadership, skill-building, learning about group dynamics, and interpersonal communication skills. In addition, we provide career and college preparation, which includes, essay writing, resume construction, and interview coaching.
The Council for Unity’s After School Program offers the option of a cinema program that allows participants to express what they learn in a supplemental, constructive, and therapeutic way. After students participate in the group sessions, they have the opportunity to write, act out, film, edit, and watch what they have created, affording them the opportunity to observe positive and negative behaviors and their effect on other individuals. Cinema therapy allows students to use the effect of imagery, plot, and music for insight, inspiration, emotional release or relief and natural change.
We tailor the programs to meet the needs of the client. In addition, we can work with our partners to offer enhanced academic enrichment and career training.
School and Community Program Benefits
- 70% reduction in violence and gang-related incidents
- 90% high school graduation rate
- 88% college placement rate among participants surpassing the national rate
- 80% improvement in attendance
- Harder to quantify statistically is the reduction in class cutting and truancy, greater ownership of problem solving strategies, and an atmosphere of tolerance that reduces bullyism and acts of bias.
All programs are evaluated using participant pre and post attitudinal surveys, our Student Induction and Leadership Manuals, our Interpersonal Growth and Development Worksheets as well as school or facility reported data. The changes generated from these studies have demonstrated significant impact on communities as well as schools. Participants develop a sense of citizenship by engaging in community projects that bring them into relationships and collaboration with parents, merchants, law enforcement personnel and elected officials. In the process our members experience character development and learn values that will make them involved citizens when they take their place in their own communities. In this regard, Council for Unity is often referred to as “An Adventure in Citizenship.”
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Community Outreach Program
This application is designed to create a CFU community-based model that incorporates and draws from CFU’s mission and culture. The Adult and Family Partnership Curriculum provides for adults what our school-based curriculum provides for students. It fosters interconnectedness by bringing together diverse constituencies within a community and organizing them into a unified force to advocate for change and promote the common good of all.
Public Safety Program
Our Public Safety Model is designed to improve the relationships between police, children, and communities. This curriculum was developed from a collaboration with the New York City Police Department, the Department of Education, the Division of School Safety, and Council for Unity in 2001. This program brings law enforcement personnel into CFU classrooms to improve the quality of relationships between youth and the police that serve them. Ongoing positive interactions between and among police officers and students are desired outcomes for this model. Our goal is to eliminate the anonymity that exists in communities that can result in increased tension and conflict. By integrating police into the CFU network, they become sensitive to the needs and concerns of the diverse cultures they serve, and our communities develop a new found respect for the challenges police officers face every day. Through these exchanges police and CFU participants both commit to the safety essential to the quality of life for both groups. This is accomplished through mutual role playing around circumstances that can heighten tension, and both parties explore strategies to eliminate these possibilities. This model has been showcased by the Riverhead Police Department since 2007. It serves as a prototype for law enforcement agencies across the nation. Relevant documentation: Testimonies from Riverhead Police Chief David Hegemiller and Officer Richard Freeborn.
Correctional Facility Anticipated Program Outcomes
- 90% of participants will accept responsibility for past actions
- 95% of participants will show an increase in their ability to handle conflict and stressful situations nonviolently
- 95% of participants will demonstrate improved self-confidence and self control
- A decrease in violent incidents involving participating inmates within the facility
- $60,000: Cost to incarcerate one person for one year in New York State
- $168,000: Cost to incarcerate one person for one year in New York City
Correctional Facility Program:
The Council for Unity Correctional Facility Initiative is a violence and gang prevention program aimed at changing the culture of conflict and violence within prisons. The curriculum focuses on attitudinal change, bolstering communication skills, conflict resolution skills, dealing with authority, and promoting interpersonal relationships. Integral to the programming is the development of a safety plan that anticipates potential problems and then creates multifaceted strategies for dealing with them.
In the context of this model, participants apply the lessons in our Dragon Slayer Syllabus where the “Dragon” represents those dark forces that landed them in prison in the first place. Through a 6 month process the men individually and collectively confront and destroy the demons that landed them behind bars. The therapeutic impact of this journey has been life altering and has resulted in an almost zero recidivism rate when our men are released, and while still incarcerated the lessons learned enable them to have quality relationships with other inmates, correctional officers and administrative personnel.
Speakers Bureau/Workshop Model
This application for CFU provides relevant and customized workshops, small group experiences or assemblies utilizing our curriculum to clients in community centers or schools who are facing challenges with regard to impulsive behavior, communication skills, difficulty in forming relationships, anger management, poor decision making and lack of self-discipline.
School and Community Program Cost
- $25,000: Cost to establish one Council for Unity Chapter
Inclusive of staff training, technical assistance.
- $60: Cost to sponsor one person
For membership in the Council for Unity for one year
- $1,800: Cost to sponsor one Council for Unity Chapter
For one year