With budgets tight in these tough economic times, YouthBuild has consolidated buildings, staff and services.

YouthBuild is part of the Community Services Consortium and provides youth services in Lebanon and throughout the area.

To save money, CSC has renegotiated rent in buildings used by CSC programs, Americorps member Adam Grieve said.

“One of the ways to do that is to consolidate people in buildings,” he said. “We no longer have adult education.”

YouthBuild and two other youth service programs will remain here in Lebanon, Grieve said.

Project instructor Carole Robinson, GED teacher for YouthBuild, said the adult services are still offered, just relocated to Albany and Corvallis.

Because of the budget cuts, YouthBuild will only take 14 students this year, as opposed to the 28 they enrolled last year.

“If kids want to be involved, they need to come pick up their applications right away,” Robinson said.

Youth programs

Along with YouthBuild, the Learning Opportunity Center and Santiam Wilderness Academy will remain local.

At the Learning Opportunity Center, students may recover credits for high school.

“We contract with local high schools,” Robinson said. “They can come make up credits if they’re really far behind.”

Some of those students go back to school and graduate with their class, some earn their GED, she said.

The Santiam Wilderness Academy is for freshmen and sophomores.

Those students spend two days in a classroom environment, and two days in the mountains learning hands-on science, service and teamwork.

“They may learn to identify mushrooms, then go out and collect them, come back and cook them,” Robinson said.

Other times, students may go identify insects or animals.

Once, they did a project involving research at the Pioneer Cemetery, followed by a clean-up day there, Robinson said.

“There are all kinds of things teachers come up with and put into the curriculum,” she said.

These youth programs tend to target at-risk students, Robinson said, but are not exclusively for at-risk students.

One Lebanon High School student who was doing well in school, really showed an interest in construction classes, Robinson said.

A councilor let him take the electives he wanted, but made a note of it and suggested he go to YouthBuild, she said.

CSC instructors do not ask students to attend the alternative educational option. Rather, students are referred to them from local high schools.

“We are not trying to pull students out of the high school, where they may have a better route there,” Robinson said.

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