Youth Programs

HYSB eliminates barriers by bringing engaging programs directly to students at all six elementary/middle schools in our region and the Housatonic Regional Valley High School. We provide a range of youth development programs and opportunities for self exploration that help young people feel more valued, productive and positive about their lives. These interactive, supportive groups build confidence and help shape the minds, behaviors and futures of our valued youth!


Second Step is a proven, classroom-tested program for elementary (and middle school) students that helps transform schools into supportive, successful learning environments uniquely equipped to encourage children to thrive. The program gives students invaluable tools for managing their emotions, forming health relationships, making good decisions and coping with everyday social and academic challenges.

Teenage girls in HYSB's Empowering Young Women program on a trip to New York.

Empowering Young Women

This successful student-led program for female students in grades 9-12 at the Housatonic Valley Regional High School provides a safe space for young women to discuss the many challenging issues they face as they mature and move toward adulthood. The students come together in an open and supportive environment to talk about topics such as body image, women in the workplace, the #METOO movement, dating violence, self-esteem and other concerns. The young women also participate in community outreach projects that build skills and provide opportunities to support others in their communities. HYSB and Women's Support Services co-run this popular program.

Social Skills Group

Many students suffer emotionally because they lack developed social skills. A simple social misstep can make a young person feel awkward and isolated. HYSB helps children develop more confidence in their interactions with their peers and adults through a social skills training program offered to area elementary school students. The program, designed by specialist Dr. Jeb E. Baker, teaches age appropriate skills necessary for increasing self-esteem and improving relationships with peers.

Painted sonts display a range of emotions and positive messages

Girls Group

Recognizing the special needs of female students at Housatonic Valley Regional High School with social, emotional or behavioral problems, HYSB offers a supportive, compassionate and interactive group where young women can explore their personal concerns. The students come together to discuss the challenges in their lives such as dating and peer relationships, self-esteem, family dynamics and other issues that can cause emotional distress.

Summer Internship Program

One of the best ways for high school students to grow and gain skills is through internships that provide opportunities for real life work experience. Every summer, HYSB places Housatonic Valley Regional High School students going into their junior and senior years with local non-profits for internship experiences in fields of their choice. The program exposes students to the work environment and the invaluable services that area non-profit organizations contribute to the community. HYSB summer interns have worked with a diverse group of organizations including Audubon, Canaan Historical Center, Cornwall and Hotchkiss Libraries, Equus Effect, Little Guild, Nobel Horizons, Sharon Land Trust and the Sharon Playhouse.

An intern hammers nails at a home construction
A high school boy receives advice wile participating in HYSB's Juvenile Review Board program

Juvenile Review Board

The Juvenile Review Board is a community based diversionary and prevention program designed to assist authorities deal with juvenile offenders and help families avoid the juvenile justice system. The board is composed of representatives from local agencies, the police department, schools and the juvenile court.

In Your Town

Map of Connecticut showing areas served by HYSB. Text says: HYSB serves youth and their families in the Canaan, Cornwall, Falls Village, Kent, Salisbury, and Sharon communities.

HYSB brings programs and projects to all six elementary/middle schools in the region. We work closely with administrators and teachers in each school to identify the most pressing student needs, which may vary from year-to-year and school-to-school. Stay tuned for announcements of HYSB programs in your school during the coming year!