Recognizing the need to break this cycle, the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court has established a program under the Orange County Teen Court umbrella – Sanctioned To Read. The purpose of the program is to achieve literacy and improve reading skills for each defendant sentenced to the program. The ability to read and comprehend is a fundamental skill necessary to becoming not only a successful student, but it is also a ticket to becoming a productive citizen in our community.
The program is funded through Orange County’s Teen Court program at no cost to the participants or their families. Youth who participate in the program are ordered into Sanctioned to Read by a Juvenile Judge as a condition of probation or referred by the Orange County Teen Court program. Referrals are also accepted from the other juvenile divisions such as Truancy, Drug, and Dependency Courts as well.
What is Sanctioned to Read?
Sanctioned to Read is an individualized, highly motivational, diagnostic and prescriptive reading program. Each child is provided with a distinctive plan of action or “prescription.” It is not a one-size-fits-all program. The program helps youth master reading skills by using an innovative curriculum and is designed to make learning a positive experience.
What is the goal of the program?
The goal is to help students build strong academic skills while they develop the desire to learn and the confidence to succeed. The Ninth Judicial Circuit Court is committed to improving the reading skills of those youth that are involved in the juvenile court system. “If the Court fills in the missing educational links for these youth, they will be given the opportunity to succeed in school and in life.
How does it work?
In the first through third grade, students concentrate on learning to read. From that point on, school revolves around reading to learn. So, if any basic skill gets lost, learning takes a back seat to frustration. Sanctioned To Read provides after-school tutoring sessions located at theThomas S. Kirk Juvenile Justice Center. Sessions generally last for one hour and the students must attend a minimum of two times per week up to a maximum of four times for a total of 40 hours.
Students who participate in the Sanctioned To Read program begin with interactive diagnostic testing that allows tutors to pinpoint the specific areas in which each student struggles or has mastered. The testing is conducted at the Thomas S. Kirk Juvenile Justice Center. Then, an individual prescription is designed for each student that helps the youth improve at least one full grade level in reading during his or her first 40 hours of instruction. After years of frustration in the classroom, the youth will taste success by finally being able to master skills necessary to completing lessons across the curriculum in their own comfort level. This will set a whole new pattern for learning and ultimately, a whole new pattern for life.
What is the Curriculum?
The methods used in the Sanctioned To Read program are structured in a step-by-step management system designed to allow the youth maximum growth in a minimum time frame. Many of the materials that are utilized in the program are self-paced and are designed to be used independently. As the student progresses, he or she is moved up by grade levels, according to his or her abilities and mastery of the material. Tutors encourage the youth and facilitate the learning process providing individual assistance.
Who Can Participate?
Youth who participate in the program are all court ordered by a Juvenile Judge or Magistrate. This is usually as a condition of probation or a sanction as ordered by the Orange County Teen Court.
Once the basic reading skills are firmly in place, their self esteem will be higher. The youth will feel more confident about school, which will afford them the opportunity of success. The Judges of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, through the Orange County Teen Court Program, are committed to seeing that the youth sentenced by the Court achieve literacy and improve their reading skills.