Serving students since 2001, the Promoting Academics & Character Education (PACE) Program is a collaboration between Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, Denver Public Schools and the Safe City Office (City & County of Denver). PACE operates classrooms in three locations throughout Denver. Youth are referred to PACE by Denver Public Schools middle schools and K-8 schools due to a variety of behaviors including fighting, carrying a weapon, drug involvement, truancy, threats/intimidation and habitual classroom disruption. The purpose of PACE is to provide a targeted, supportive intervention in order to promote academic success and life skills development, and decrease violent and other negative behaviors among youth who have exhibited significant behavioral problems.
PACE is a unique response to “problematic” students; as an alternative to traditional disciplinary action alone, and through a strengths-based approach, staff are able to help students identify the causes of their behaviors as well as recognize their strengths and values. Furthermore, youth are linked to other supportive services as needed (i.e. counseling, educational testing, family services). The 15-day intervention program enables highly trained, dedicated staff to assess students, provide necessary services and facilitate systems coordination and action.
The primary goal of the PACE Program is to reduce out of school suspensions and expulsions for students in grades six through eight. This is accomplished by identifying the causes of a student’s detrimental behavior and providing the youth with the tools, resources and support that will eliminate the negative causing the problem. Through participation in PACE, youth are more likely to successfully transition back to their home school. By implementing the strategies they have learned at PACE, students have fewer behavior problems, resulting in fewer extended suspensions and expulsions. PACE is a proven and effective strategy in increasing retention rates for all students. For more information about the PACE Program, please contact Joe Troyer at JosephT@bgcmd.org.