New Kids Dept. school eases transition for adjudicated youth

By Amy Cherry 5:14pm, December 12, 2013 - Updated 5:19pm, December 12, 2013
VIDEO: WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.
High risk youth become more college and career ready at a brand new 14,000 square foot school on the Kids Department's campus near Newport.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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Youths who've been adjudicated like this 17-year-old from Seaford, whose name is being withheld to protect his identity, are painting beautiful pictures in an art class that's aimed at reducing recidivism.

"And I guess it's going to sell pretty well. It's beautiful. I put all my creativity into it," he says.

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The new school gives students A LOT more space for learning and activities like yoga and jewelry making. It's also very high-tech with smart boards and computers, where students will become college and career ready.

"We'll be able to offer these students much more opportunities for credit recovery and credit acceleration through online coursework ," says Jennifer Ranji, Secretary of the Delaware Kids Department.

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"Ferris has really helped me. I mean, it's not a great place that a kid would want to be, but I didn't expect to come so far from being at Ferris. Their education department is wonderful," he says.

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The new $5 million environmentally-friendly was funded through the state's "Future Now" funding in the capital budget.

Ferris helped him get his GED, and he's heading off to Delaware Tech in January to major in business. He says without Ferris, he doesn't know where he'd be in life.

"From eight months ago till now, what would you say has changed in your life?" I asked.

"Everything," he says.

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