On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, Jean Childs Young Middle hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its new wraparound services center also known as “The Den”. The Den provides on-site comprehensive holistic support for every child in the following four areas: social emotional well-being, academic success, basic needs supports, and access and exposure. This new feature provides students with mental and physical health services, tutoring, uniforms, school supplies, personal hygiene items, extra-curricular activities, mentoring, and college/career exploration.
Young Middle School Principal Garlington describes the Den as “the hub of our school, the part of the school that provides all type of support that students need to be successful at school”.
The Den is located in a hallway near the school’s main office and it features “zen zones” for students and staff members, a food pantry, an SEL (social and emotional learning) center, and a community partner engagement center. The Den is an example of Atlanta Public Schools’ commitment to building a culture of support throughout the district by providing services for its students that address their social, emotional, mental, and behavioral well-being.
“This is a great highlight of how wellness and social and emotional learning come together. The Den is an example for others to follow. It’s all about educating, working, and providing for the whole child,” says Atlanta Public Schools Associate Superintendent Dr. Kala Goodwine.
The event was attended by members of the Young family, officials from the City of Atlanta and APS board members. Ali Amin Carter, Chief of Staff to mayor elect Andre Dickens, explains why it was important for him to attend the ceremony in support of Atlanta Public Schools. “These are our future leaders. With him (Andre Dickens) being a former student here and now being mayor, that tells the students here that they can also matriculate into positions of power that can change their communities and ultimately change their world. It’s great that they are going to have the opportunity to come and get some mental health and have a space like the Den where they can collect themselves” says Carter.
For more information about “The Den” at Young Middle School, visit this link to their website: “The Den” @ Young / Mission of “The Den” @ Young (atlantapublicschools.us)