South Lyon Area Youth Assistance
South Lyon Area Youth Assistance is a non-profit community service organization committed to strengthening youth and families by preventing and reducing juvenile delinquency, child neglect and child abuse. Volunteers work with professional staff to plan and implement enriching programs for young people and families in the South Lyon area.
Programs: Casework Services: Services are provided by a licensed social work professional at the Youth Assistance office located at South Lyon High School. Nancy Minckler works with children and families to reduce behavior problems and find effective solutions for the family. Through early intervention, more serious problems can be prevented and family harmony can be restored. Evening appointments are available. Casework services are voluntary, confidential and free of charge. Caseworkers also provide information about other resources and refer families to other helping agencies. Referrals to Youth Assistance are made by parents, police, schools and other agencies. Reasons for referrals include emotional or behavioral difficulties at home, at school or in the community. The police may divert teens from official court to Youth Assistance for alcohol or other drug involvement, home or school incorrigibility, larceny, retail fraud, or malicious destruction of property. Youth Assistance also works closely with the schools in matters of educational neglect and school truancy.
Homework Centers Our Homework Centers at Millennium and Centennial Middle Schools, and at Dolsen and Kent Lake elementaries operate through the end of the school year. The Homework Centers provide homework assistance to elementary and middle school students who are referred by school personnel or Youth Assistance staff. The Homework Center has a low staff-to-child ratio and is a quiet, safe place for children to do schoolwork. Students meet after school for two hours each day on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at Millennium and Centennial Middle Schools, and on Monday and Thursday at Dolsen and Kent Lake. During the first quarter-hour, students snack and wind down. The remaining time is spent quietly doing homework or reading with the help of staff. There is a $10 registration fee for this program, after which, participation is free.
Summer Enrichment Summer Enrichment is a six-week program offered every summer for elementary and middle school children. The main focus of this program is to prepare students for a play performance held the last night of the program. Elementary children meet for two hours Monday through Thursday mornings. Middle school children meet for three hours each afternoon on those same days. Each group has their own full production night followed by a social. Besides preparing for a performance, the children take part in a community outreach project, an arts and craft project and a simple fund-raiser for a cause or charity. They also participate in cardiovascular activities. All children are welcome from first grade through 8th grade. There is a nominal fee for this program. No child is turned away because of a disability or because of an inability to pay. Information about dates and times is sent home with students during the month of May. This program is funded by South Lyon Area Youth Assistance with other funding by local businesses and organizations.
Summer Camp Each summer, Youth Assistance provides an opportunity for children entering the third grade through the 8th grade to attend camp for five days. Teachers, counselors, administrators, and Youth Assistance staff refer children for the camp experience. Youth Assistance pays for the majority of the camp cost. Families are asked to pay a small deposit, however, no child will be turned away due to an inability to pay. The children are bused to Camp Michawana by a South Lyon Community Schools bus. Camp Michawana is a non-denominational YMCA camp in Hasting, Michigan. The children enjoy swimming, canoeing, skateboarding, crafts, songs and campfires.
Youth Recognition Each year Youth Assistance sponsors a Youth Recognition Event to honor students who are nominated for volunteer service through their church, school, or community. Students are nominated by school personnel, members of the clergy, parents and community members. Nominators are asked to consider children who go “above and beyond” to help others in their community. This event, which will take place in May, focuses on young people as volunteers and change agents in the South Lyon community. Nominees, nominators, family and community members are invited to a light buffet supper, at which nominees are presented awards by representatives from the Oakland County Circuit Court-Family Division, City of South Lyon, Lyon Township, South Lyon Community Schools and South Lyon Area Youth Assistance.
Skill Building Scholarships Helping children stay active in positive, enriching, but costly, activities is out of reach for some of our South Lyon area families. South Lyon Area Youth Assistance has made available limited scholarships to help these families keep their children active and involved. To apply for a scholarship, a simple, one-page form is filled out and submitted to the Youth Assistance Board of Directors for approval (family names are not identified). Parents are notified by a letter if their request is approved, and a check is made out for the activity fees. Approval takes 10 to 14 days, so please allow enough time before the registration deadline.