MILLEDGEVILLE — The Youth Enrichment Services (YES) program serves 1,000 youth in the Baldwin County public school system each year. Through funding made possible by the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the high school YES program expanded to include a summer school this year as a way to provide a bridge for 90 rising freshmen ready to transition in the fall.
“This is the first year for YES Summer School, which is a four-week program that runs three and a half days a week. Our focus is the academics, and we want to make sure that students are better prepared for expectations in English/language arts and math,” said Julie Cook, Baldwin High School YES program instructor. “We have an educational team comprised of the top Baldwin High School teachers and the highest performing students from Georgia College to assist each student individually to assure academic gain and to provide top-notch academic enrichments.”
First year YES program student Siani Duggan, 14, said the summer school has given her the opportunity to excel in various subject areas while making her feel comfortable and ready to make the transition to high school.
“I like the YES program because it’s a new experience. It really shows you the life of a high-schooler. I was having trouble in math because I didn’t know variables, but my teacher taught me how to break it down bit by bit,” Duggan said. “The program also teaches you responsibilities. I love all of my teachers and I thank the YES program for everything they have done for me. I really enjoy it.”
Cook said the high school YES program has been recognized as a top program in Georgia for the past two years.
“It’s because of the Baldwin High School administration who have always been so supportive of everything we’ve requested. We couldn’t have done it without them,” she said. “Another part of us being recognized is because I use a warm and firm approach with the students. We try to help them academically and help them prepare for life, but we include respect and consideration.”