A.C.T., Inc. - Adults Caring For Teens

Programs and Services

One-on-One Mentoring Program:

Each week mentees meet with their mentors for two hours. The mentor/mentee dyads participate in various activities such as sports, cultural events, theatre, educational events, etc. The mentors are adult friends to the mentees. The mentees are encouraged to talk to their mentors about any issues that are of concern to them. All volunteer Mentors are fully trained and screened.

Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents – The Guiding Light Program:

Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents is about mentoring relationships. Our role is to bring mentors and children with incarcerated parents together and to facilitate quality mentoring relationships. This program makes it possible for many more young people throughout New York State to have mentors, and for many more families to enjoy all the benefits of mentoring. Children of Incarcerated parents between the ages of 5 to 18 are paired with trained, screened adult mentors. The pair is required to meet for a minimum of four hours per month. The mentor/mentee dyads participate in various activities such as sports, cultural events, theatre, educational events, etc. The mentors are adult friends to the mentees. The mentees are encouraged to talk to their mentors about any issues that are of concern to them. All volunteer Mentors are fully trained and screened.

Girls Circle:

Structured gender-specific/age-specific support groups for girls from 10-18 years, integrates relational theory, resiliency practices, and skills training in a specific format designed to increase positive connection, personal and collective strengths, and competence in girls. It aims to counteract social and interpersonal forces that impede girls’ growth and development by promoting an emotionally safe setting and structure within which girls can develop caring relationships and use authentic voices. Girls Circle groups are held weekly for 1½ hour. Each week the facilitator leads the group of girls through a format that includes each girl taking turns talking and listening to one another respectfully about their concerns and interests. The girls express themselves further through creative or focused activities such as role playing, drama, journaling, poetry, drama, dance, drawing, collage, clay, and so on. Gender specific themes and topics are introduced which relate to the girls’ or lives, such as trusting ourselves, friendships, goals, sexuality, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, competition, and decision-making, violence, aggression, etc. Facilitators are trained and certified by Girls Circle, Inc. (Girls’ Circle, 2006).

Boys Council:

Boys Council is a strengths-based group approach to promote boys’ and young men’s safe, strong and healthy passage through pre-teen and adolescent years. Boys Council groups encourage boys and young men to: act safely; show respect in their relationships; develop a healthy perspective; see other’s points of view; use good judgment; and find their goals and dreams and pursue them. Boys Council meets a core developmental need in boys for strong, positive relationships. In this healthy and structured environment, boys and young men gain the vital opportunity to address masculine definitions and behaviors and build their capacities to find their innate value and create good lives, individually and collectively. (Boys Council, 2008). Young men experience belonging and connection with adults and peers; Discover the principles they want to live by; Recognize others’ perspectives and experiences; Develop empathic skills; Participate in fun and stimulating activities; Find motivation and courage to act on their principles; Desire to act with self-respect; Find respect for girls and women; Embrace the power within themselves and within their bonds as a community; Find restored hope, belief, and skills to live a good life.

A.C.T. on Faith:

Faith based initiative; in excess of 50 faith-based organizations throughout the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City collaborate to effect recruitment of volunteers and to attract men and women of faith to support our mission of creating socially adept, moral young adults. The A.C.T. on Faith program also assists youth and families in times of need.

Parents Support Group:

Because we know that children and teens have more opportunity for success when parents are involved in the mentoring process we have established a parent support group. Our bi-weekly meetings designed to support parents in exchanging ideas and opinions on specific situations/concerns. Through the support group parents learn new strategies and tactics for promoting healthy, happy relationships with their children.

Court Advocacy:

Designed for working parents who are not able to go to court with their children; for parents who do not feel comfortable attending court; and for parents who do not understand the court system. A.C.T. Inc. is dedicated to ensuring that children and youth never have to go to court without the support of a caring adult. With this commitment, a court advocate will accompany any client for their court dates.

Ready, Set, Work!:

 A 20 hour skill based training to equip returning citizens with the necessary tools to get and retain quality employment. There is also an emphasis on career planning and advancement, to encourage longevity in legitimate employment. The RSW! Curriculum includes the following modules:

Module 1: Career Assessments

Module 2: Legal Issues and Financial Incentives

Module 3: Job Applications

Module 4 : Job Interviews

Module 5 : Budget and Spending Plan

Module 6: Employer Expectations

Module 7: Barriers and Resources

Module 8: Job Retention

Module 9: Job Search

Module 10: Using the Local One Stop 

Family Stabilization Program:

Each week families in various low-income Housing Authority complexes are afforded the opportunity to participate in a community family dinner. Members of the ACT volunteer family travel to the site and have dinner with the participants. Every family member participates. During dinner, children and parents discuss their accomplishments or challenges of the previous week. After dinner, separate gender/age specific youth groups and parent groups are formed to address specific topics. A trained Social Worker and trained volunteer counselor are in attendance to offer much needed counseling and support.

Academic Academy:

An after school program designed to promote academic excellence. At the Academic Academy, we make learning fun! Students, 7 to 11 years of age, are engaged intellectually through fun learning activities. Our teachers and facilitators create an atmosphere where learning is exciting and excellence is expected. As a result, our students excel in every area.

Sowing Seeds for Seniors:

This program is designed to teach our children and teens to build their community by giving back to our beloved Senior Citizens. Every year children in A.C.T. programs select Senior Citizen Complexes to plant vegetable/fruit gardens. As a result, our Senior Citizens have an opportunity to pick and prepare fresh veggies/fruit and the children experience the joys of humanitarianism.