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SEEDS program aims to help educate Hays juveniles in detention

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
July 12, 2012

The Hays County Juvenile Detention Center in San Marcos will implement the Sowing Education and Empowerment in Daily Speech (SEEDS) education program for a second year, beginning July 9 and continuing for the remainder of the summer.

The SEEDS program is part of the broad outreach from the Center for P-16 Initiatives at Texas State University-San Marcos, which aims to engage communities throughout Central Texas in order to close the academic achievement gaps. The Center’s mission is to see all of Central Texas’ students be prepared for some type of post-secondary education, and the SEEDS program serves that mission by reaching some of the region’s students who are most in need.

The SEEDS program is a linguistics-based curriculum focused on enriching the communication skills of young Central Texans, and in this case, those housed at the detention center.

"The kids detained at HCJDC are not bad people," said Isaac Torres, of the Center for P-16 Initiatives. "Most of them have been dealt awful hands in life and have made some mistakes. We want to give them some basic tools to forge a new path toward a future filled with hope and potential."

Brett Littlejohn, administrator of the juvenile detention center, welcomed SEEDS back for the second year to help supplement summer programming.

"You never know what's going to spark in somebody," Littlejohn said. "We're trying to find something they can latch onto."

The program began at the HCJDC in June of 2011, and to date has served more than 50 students. SEEDS aims to train the young detainees on the basic systems of human language, and how to purposefully and clearly speak and write.

“These young people have a difficult time expressing their thoughts and feelings in speech and in writing, and often rely on impulsive actions to do so," said Torres. "With a sound understanding of the functional power of language, they can realize a purpose and potential in their lives that might otherwise be missing.”

For any information contact Isaac Torres at it10@txstate.edu.