Programs for Troubled Teens in Jacksonville, Florida

by Alysha Sideman

More than 4,000 middle and high school youths in Jacksonville, Florida, missed classes from April 2009 to February 2010 because of suspensions, reports "The Florida Times-Union" newspaper. Reasons for punishment run the gamut from drugs and fights to damaging property and stealing. Fortunately, the city offers programs to give troubled teens a shot at a productive, safe life.

Out-of-School Suspension

The Alternative to Out-of-School Suspension (ATOSS) program offers a productive way to spend time away from school. Students go to a designated center outside the home for supervision and academic enrichment instead of getting further behind in school work. Students use grade recovery and academic remediation software at one of the five centers to keep up with their courses. Each day, attendants are informed about each child who will be attending. Special programs consist of character building, career education and field trips. The ATOSS locations are also used as a drop-off point for students picked up for truancy.

The Bridge of Northeast Florida

1824 Pearl St. N.

Jacksonville, FL 32206



Beaches Boys & Girls Club

820 Seagate Ave.

Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250



Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology

7450 Wilson Blvd.

Jacksonville, FL 32210



Southside Middle School Annex

2948 Knights Lane E.

Jacksonville, FL 32216



St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church

3738 Winton Drive

Jacksonville, FL 32208


Bridge Team Up After School Program

Children who attend the Team Up After School Program tend to have better attendance, graduation rates and grades than peers at the same schools who do not attend the program, according to the Jacksonville Children's Commission. The Bridge of Northeast Florida implements Team Up programs located in targeted impoverished communities throughout Jacksonville. Bridge operates seven programs and serves more than 800 at-risk students. This school-based program provides educational and enrichment opportunities. Not only do kids receive help with homework, particularly science and math, but they also participate in art exercises, fitness regimes, dance classes and even etiquette courses.

The Bridge of Northeast Florida

1824 Pearl St. N.

Jacksonville, FL 32206



Juvenile Assessment Center

Aimed at reducing recidivism within the community and providing new opportunities for rehabilitated youths, the Jacksonville Juvenile Assessment Center addresses juvenile crime. The center offers a centralized location to receive, process and intervene with teens who who have committed or are likely to commit a crime. "Timely intervention with juveniles can divert them from the wrong course and set them on a better road---one that doesn't lead back to the justice system," said Mayor John Peyton on the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice website.

Juvenile Assessment Ctr.

1283 E. 8th St.

Jacksonville, FL 32206



Dropout Prevention Program

Dropout prevention programs offer academically at-risk students from grades 2 to 12 another route to high school graduation. Students who are identified as unsuccessful in academics because of grades, low test scores, retention, truancy, pregnancy or disruptive behavior are provided with an educational program that meets their needs. The curriculum includes career awareness, employable skills, character development and law education.

Duval County Public Schools

1701 Prudential Drive

Jacksonville, FL 32207



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About the Author

Alysha Sideman has been writing professionally since 1993. She provides wellness-related content for LIVESTRONG.COM, among other websites. Her articles have appeared in the "Queens Chronicle," "The Staten Island Advance," "Studio Photography & Design" magazine, "Photo Trade News," "Presstime" magazine and "FDA News." She also served as a writer for several health-related associations. Sideman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Hofstra University and is a certified health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition at SUNY Purchase.

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