Curriculum and Activity Based Programs

Program Details

Strengthening Families- This evidence-based program runs in two six-week cycles in the Spring and Fall. The program is an educational program geared for families with children from the ages of 10 thru 14. These are the transitional years where children enter middle school and begin their high school years. The focus of the program is based on “Love and Limits.” For six weeks the families come together at 6:00 pm and eat dinner together. At 6:30 the parents and the children that are of age to participate split up into groups. The youth who are too young to participate are watched by a babysitter. The parents are exposed to a 45-minute video presentation and interactive session that focuses on related topics concerning their children and their particular age group. Meanwhile, at the same time, the children are participating in a session focusing on their age group concerns and the expectations that parents will have from them as they get older. The finale is that at the end of the separate sessions both the children and adult participants come together for a family session that is geared towards doing an activity together and learning more about each other while having fun. The Haverstraw Center is the only program in the county that has been running the Strengthening Family program successfully for the past fifteen years. It is labor intensive but well worth it for the families that participate.


Managing Emotions Group-  Participants are teens aged 14-17 participate weekly in this open-ended group. The focus is on participants learning how to identify and express emotions in healthy ways, including verbal communication and creative self-expression (writing, dance, music, etc). It also affords an opportunity for teens to showcase any other form of self-expression with prior knowledge of the facilitator (i.e. musical instruments, singing).


Girls’Lifeskills/Club – Meeting during the school year, these weekly groups serve girls in Grades 4-6, and 7-8. The purpose is to encourage the development of strength, courage, confidence, honesty, and communication skills for girls. The goal is to enhance girls’ abilities so they are able to take full advantage of their talents, academic interests, career pursuits, and the potential for healthy relationships.

Boys’ Lifeskills/Boy’s Clubs – These promising programs have proven to be effective in preventing problem behaviors in young men (truancy, delinquency, drug use, violence). The mission of the Boys Lifeskills/Club is to empower young men between the ages of 8 thru 14 to learn and incorporate coping skills while dealing with stressful situations through various activities and become productive members of society. The program meets weekly during the school year and serves boys aged 8-10 and boys aged 11-14.

Project Shift – A program focused on creating positive behavior changes in at-risk youth, especially for repeat offenders that appear before the local municipal courts on mostly minor charges, such as unlawful possession of marijuana (UPM) and criminal mischief or misconduct. This program was initiated by discussions between Judge Grant and the Haverstraw Center after Judge Grant observed the same people consistently appearing before him for the same crimes and seeing a need to maybe do something different with them, including counseling and case management. The program accepts referrals from a variety of sources (probation, school and parent referrals, self-referral), and has expanded to three courtrooms in the North Rockland area that includes the Town of Haverstraw Justice Court with Judge Grant, the Village of West Haverstraw with Judge Russo and the Village of Haverstraw with Judge DeCaprio. These courts as well as the Youth Courts in both the Town of Haverstraw and Stony Point serve as constant sources of referrals.