What Happens at Real World Connections?
Real World Connections is a unique program for young adults who need a little extra help in figuring out the new social world and unspoken rules that come with being a teenager… with a group of like-minded individuals. This results in amazing opportunities for not only learning from positive adult role models, but rich peer-to-peer learning and a whole lot of fun!
The curriculum for this program is a unique one developed and created by the iCan House specifically for this teenage population and targets nine core concepts that we believe to be most essential.
1. Understanding Relationships
2. Real World Life Skills
3. Perspective Taking
4. Emotional Understanding and Empathy
5. Communication Skills
6. Social Recreation
8. Executive Functioning Skills
9. Forming & Maintaining a Positive Outlook
Each week the Real World Connections groups meet with a trained iCan House facilitator to talk about issues that are happening in their own lives, in addition to working proactively to learn new strategies for challenging real life scenarios that they face frequently.
This group meets weekly in all-male and all-female groups, but also have planned co-ed social activities each month.
In the Real World Connections Program, there are a wide range of participants. Most of these participants range in age between 14-21 and have some kind of need for social instruction. Some of the participants have a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, AD/HD, learning disabilities, chromosomal disorders, and others, but many have no diagnosis at all. A group of peer-aged friends is generally a need by all of our participants.
Group members must be able to maintain their own self-care, (bath-rooming, etc), and cannot be violent.
The Real World Connections groups are divided into small groups of 4-8 persons, (all-male or all-female), and meet in the after school hours for their curriculum based sessions once per week on a set day. Each of these club sessions take place at Goodwill in Winston-Salem, off of University.
There is also opportunities for social activities that generally occur in the evening hours or on the weekends. Each month, the Real World Connections social events are open to both boys and girls that are a part of the program and generally include:
1. Hang Out Night: A Friday night “hang out” that includes making or ordering our own dinner, video games, music, laughter… and all of the excitement that you would expect as teenagers learn to “hang out” together.
2. Movie Night: A movie is predetermined at the beginning of the month and all of the Rea World Connections members are invited to join us at the iCan House for a simple, yet fun evening of snacks and watching a movie with friends.
3. Night/Day Out: Each month, iCan House strives to create and provide an age appropriate activity for our group members that takes them out into the community and having fun with their friends, to places that they might not otherwise plan for themselves. Outings have included a trip to the zoo, water-park, rollerskating, baseball games, dinner and a movie, mini-golfing, and much more. These outings give our members real world experience with interacting in public, dealing with crowds, handling money, and enjoying the social world!
The social calendar changes monthly so be sure to check the calendar for an up to date schedule.
REAL LIFE APPLICATIONS
The Real World Connections Program is designed to aid our participants in not only learning skills that will help them navigate their life now as teenagers but in the future as adults. All of our curriculum is designed around this premise as are our social activities.
To connect iCan classrooms to home life, iCan House staff members take time at the end of each session to update the parents on the concepts that their teens are learning so that they can bridge these skills into the home.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
To participate in the Real World Connections program, individuals must complete the standard iCan House application process.
LIFE AFTER REAL WORLD CONNECTIONS
Once our teenage participants are no longer teenagers, their needs for social interaction do not go away. iCan House provides a special social group for those over the age of 18 called Meet-n-Eat. We are also in the process of creating social and life-skill classes called Real World Humanities.
For more information about this great program, including schedules and fees, please contact the iCan House office at 336.723.0050 or contact us via email by leaving us a message on our contact page.