Educage, Director: Les Fernandez, The Cage Teen Center, Inc.

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History

Educage is an educational outgrowth of the Cage Teen Center. Cage was incorporated in 1962 to provide services to young people who had not previously been reached by existing agencies – and who were in danger of becoming “drop-outs” from society. Starting with the young people’s own expressed desire for a “different” educational experience, Educage was launched in 1967-68 with the professional help and encouragement of the White Plains Board of Education, and with a one-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Three students and two teachers made up the original experiment. Shortly, the program outgrew quarters at 5 William Street and moved to Grace Church where student enrollment grew to 132, and the staff to 22. In August 1974, Educage moved to new, permanent quarters at 5 New Street where, for the first time, Educage and Cage Teen Center activities are all housed under the same roof.

What’s in a name?

In answer to the often-asked question, “What does Educage mean?” – it comes from education and Cage, the name first given to the Cage Teen Center by the young people who first gathered in the “cage-like” atmosphere of the basement of 5 William Street. When it came time to name the school, “Educage” was a natural.

Students

Educage students are a diverse group. They come from all over Westchester County and represent a racial, religious and economic cross-section of the population. They show a wide range of academic abilities, talents and interests. They come to Educage because they have had difficulties in more traditional scholastic institutions for a variety of reasons. Many come to us with negative attitudes toward school and learning.

Our expectations of the students are that they show a desire to be with us in the program, that they attend school regularly, and that they make an honest effort. We look for signs of progress, not necessarily through traditional methods of academic testing, but for positive changes in direction, attitude and social and emotional growth.

While no one fails at Educage, credit is withheld if a student shows disinterest and lack of commitment to the program. Our staff continuously works with the student to reinforce his positive strengths and to heip him establish realistic goals for his future.

Parents

Parents are encouraged to participate by attending meetings, visiting the school, and talking with the guidance counselors, teachers and the Director. We are well aware of the pressures that are often brought to bear on parents whose youngsters have not succeeded in traditional schools, and we are anxious to help them be supportive of their children’s efforts here. We share with parents their desire to help a child who has not been able to achieve his potential, develop the confidence and positive self image that will enable him to succeed in school and in life.

Staff

Educage staff members are chosen for expertise in their subject areas, as well as for their ability to relate to young people as trustworthy, caring adults. Our teachers represent an unusual range of interests, personalities and life styles and, over the years, have included college professors, certified teachers, business and community leaders, college students, ministers and housewives. Our present staff includes 15 teachers, 4 volunteer tutors, a nurse teacher, 3 counselors, plus administrative and clerical personnel. Through the Cage Teen Center staff we also make available to our students the assistance of a trained psychologist, social workers and job counselors. Altogether, our staff forms a united group of adults who are wiliing to grow, to change, to listen and to learn from young people, as well as to help them learn f rom us. We share a pride, optimism and an enthusiasm about the positive things we feel we are accomplishing and are constantly searching for new and better ways to achieve our goals.

Curriculum

Our academic program is divided into four ten week periods. Each student may take three courses each quarter for a total of twelve courses, or six high school credits ten-week Course offerings and content are constantly revised to suit the requirements and interests of our students. The following is a typical list of courses:

ART: Ceramics, Dance, Drawing and Painting, Music and Art Survey, Music Appreciation, Photography

BUSINESS: Business Math, Bookkeeping, Office Practice, Typing

ENGLISH: Reading Laboratory, Basic English Skills, Better Communication in Writing, Creative Writing, College Research Skills, SAT Review, Playwriters’ Workshop, Poetry Writing, Survey ol English Literature, Poetry, Plays, Novels, Short Stories, Science Fiction, Theatre, Independent Study

MATHEMATICS:, Basic Math, Intermediate Math, Geometry, Algebra, Survival Math

PRACTICAL ARTS: Food Preparation, Sewing, Drafting, Furniture Refinishing

SCIENCE: Biology, General Science, Health, Survival Science

SOCIAL STUDIES: Introduction to Social Studies, Social Studies Survey, American History, World History, Black History, Law, Current Events, Isms, Class, Caste and Race

SOCIAL SCIENCES: Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Male and Female Roles, Religion

 

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