REBOUND is a cognitive skills program for youth that was established in Sarnia Ontario in 1984. The underlying purpose of REBOUND is to help youth who are at risk and who are motivated to make positive changes in their lives. The aim of the REBOUND method is to teach and reinforce basic life skills, social skills, and cognitive skills that will enable young people to get started on sound decision making, the development of a sense of personal responsibility, goal setting and the building of a healthy self image.
The REBOUND program consists of ten weekly, sessions. Parental participation in the program is strongly encouraged, but is not a requirement.
The REBOUND program runs in both schools during the day and in the community in the evening.
Each of the ten week sessions focuses on a different theme:
Week 1: Communication
The goal is to reinforce the basics of effective communicationsuch as how to listen effectively and that all messages must be clear, concise, and complete.
Week 2: True Colours
True Colors is a simple and fun way to develop a better understanding of your personality and how you prefer to deal with situations in your life and a way to appreciate how others may deal with issues and situation in their lives. True colours can improve our communication and understanding of each other through recognition of our true character. Utilizing the colors of orange, green, blue and gold to differentiate four basic personality types, True Colors becomes an uncomplicated language for every one to convey complex ideas very simply.
Week 3: Goal Setting
This lesson demonstrates the reasons for, and the benefits of setting and achieving goals. The focus will be on goals that are Simple, Manageable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. Young people will continue to set goals from this point until the end of the program.
Week 4: Decision Making
This lesson introduces our REBOUND S.T.A.R. (stop, think, act, review) We also have a guest speaker from the YMCA Youth Gambling and Youth Diversion-KAIROS, who speak to the youth about the dangers of gambling, as well as doing certain activities such as gaming and using technology too much and how to stay safe.
Week 5: Teamwork
This lesson provides an overview and opportunity to practice the first three lessons in fun team exercises that each youth will enjoy participating in.
Week 6: Freedom and Responsibility
This lesson we learn the difference between our freedoms and our responsibilities and how the two are combined. We also have special guest speakers from Frontenac Institution come in and tell us about their story and experiences about the loss of their freedom.
Week 7: Exploring Emotions/Relationships
This lesson illustrates the importance of dealing effectively with emotions and to understand the different types of emotions. The goal is to provide the youth with different techniques to deal with their emotions effectively. Also gives youth an opportunity to talk about their family dynamics. We discuss parent/guardian roles and responsibilities within the home. We talk about how to deal with conflict in the home as well as with peers. A discussion of what we like in relationships and what we don’t like in relationships is had with the youth to make them aware of what a positive relationship looks like.
Week 8: Substance Use
This lesson raises issues regarding substance use awareness. The youth discuss different types of drug use and how you can make an informative decision. We talk to the youth about the effects of drugs and the impact on their future.
Week 9: Self Image
This lesson assists the youth to recognize their unique qualities, to identify positive and realistic changes they can make to improve their self image. The goal is to have every youth leave the session feeling positive and special.
Week 10: Graduation (where do I go from here?)
The final session pulls the ten sessions together. This lesson includes a final summary of the REBOUND lessons and how to use them. There is also a graduation celebration which includes: certificates, prizes, food and other fun activities to celebrate everyones accomplishments in Rebound.
All school sessions are the same as above with the exception that Freedom and Responsibilty week is removed and the Exploring Emotions and Relationship weeks are split up into their own sessions.
During each session, there are three main objectives: goal setting, communication and team work. This is accomplished through a structured evening which includes a lecture/discussion, role-playing, group activities and a guest speaker or video on the evening's topic.
Role of the Volunteer
The program is staffed by trained community volunteer coaches who are expected to make a time commitment for the entire session. The success of the program depends largely upon the degree of respect and trust that the coaches are able to generate between themselves and the group participants. An initial training session will instruct all volunteers in the guidelines and techniques involved in the coaching role. A REBOUND lesson requires trained volunteers and two lead coaches to facilitate the lesson and two table coaches per group dependant on the amount of pariticipants. They are there to help encourage the youth as well as serve as positive role models.
Where the Youth Come From
The youth who participate in REBOUND are generally doing so voluntarily. Referrals can be made by schools, teachers, parents, agencies, police, courts etc. for the community program, and directly from the schools in the school based programs. The youth range in age from 12-17 years. The REBOUND program is committed to providing a nonjudgmental nonthreatening environment for the youth. A group of 4-7 young people and two table coaches makes one complete table, and there can be up to four tables per REBOUND session.
Under a grant from the Trillium Foundation, the REBOUND program commissioned the expertise of Dr. Gary Bernfeld (clinical and consulting psychologist) to conduct an intensive evaluation on the merit of the program. With the help of volunteers, Dr. Bernfeld collected data on 59 youths who were offered the service in three different REBOUND groups. Of those 59 young people 39 completed the programs -- a two-thirds retention rate. The reasons that 20 youths did not finish the program include: youth refusal (30%); youth non-attendance or inappropriate behaviour in the sessions (30%); family moved (20%); and youth criminal charges (10%). The outcome of the evaluation showed:
- The percentage of youth falling into the clinical range on the Child Behavior Checklist (measures deviancy) decreased from 93% to 70% overall, with specific reductions for the delinquency, anxious depressed, aggression, attention problems and withdrawn syndromes;
- Parent-rated social skills, as measured by the Social Skills Rating System improved overall from a score of 84.3 to 91.6; particular improvements were noted in the youths' self-control and responsibility, with a trend suggesting an improvement in assertion;
- youth-rated social skills, using the same measure, showed a slight improvement overall from a score of 94.6 to 99.6; a slight improvement was noted in their self-control;
- youth-rated delinquent behaviour, measured by the Modified Self-Report Early Delinquency Instrument showed substantial improvements, reflecting a 63% reduction in overall delinquency as well as similar reductions for all specific types of delinquent behavior: interpersonal/aggressive, theft, drug/alcohol, and destructive/vandalism; and
- consumers (parents, youths, and staff from other agencies) were more than satisfied with the REBOUND program.
Dr. Bernfeld recommended that the Youth Diversion Program continue to operate the REBOUND program and that the program's capacity be expanded in the Kingston area, targeted at low risk young offenders. Dr. Bernfeld also recommends that a more rigorous evaluation of REBOUND be conducted in the future, to more comprehensively explore the program's impact on recidivism and residential placements.
What Participants/Agencies Say About REBOUND:
- Very grateful to all volunteers and leaders for all your help and time you put into the program.
- Great program and I like the people that run it.
- very helpful and I'm glad I came here.
- I had fun and learned a lot.
- It's a fun place to go and learn what to do and what not to do.
- It was fun and interesting.
- Hats off to all coaches! A job well done!
- It improved her ways and attitudes, so that is great.
- I have learned a lot from this program and I have met some cool people. At first I thought that I was going to have a bad time here but I was wrong. I've learned from my mistakes.
The REBOUND program falls under the umbrella of the Youth Diversion Program, which is a charitable organization. It was initially funded through a one time grant from the Trillium Foundation. However, today the program relies heavily on the generosity of the community. Money raised is used for supplies, administration, training of volunteers, fees, salaries, and miscellaneous items needed to make REBOUND successful. The Youth Diversion Program is currently attempting to secure long term funding for the REBOUND program.
REBOUND is a remedial and preventative program for youth and their families which strives to develop social skills, self esteem and a sense of personal responsibility. The people at REBOUND believe that the challenges of youth are not just a youth problem but a community responsibility as well. The REBOUND program is an opportunity for the community to connect with youth in order to say we care and we want to help. With the continuing support from our community, the REBOUND program will thrive and improve the lives of all young people involved in REBOUND.