"This program taught me that teaching and helping little kids is hard. At my age, I am not prepared to have a baby.” --Olivia, Teen read more...
CHILDREN: OUR ULITMATE INVESTMENT (COUI) provides at-risk teenagers with the necessary life skills to successfully enter adulthood. We offer opportunities to advance in education and and job training skills to help youth become productive citizens of society.
CHILDREN: OUR ULTIMATE INVESTMENT (COUI) began in 1977 by founder Laura Huxley. COUI's Teens and Toddlers program continues to address the issue of teenage pregnancy by giving adolescents the opportunity to become roll models to toddlers and in turn, give to their little friends what many of the teens have not been given: guidance, nurturing and love.
“Phoenix High is always striving to provide students electives that will enable them to grow intellectually, emotionally, and morally. Phoenix High ‘hit the jackpot’ when the Teens and Toddlers program began (in 2000!)"
Elizabeth Ryan, Teacher, Phoenix High School, 2012
“I am particularly impressed by the scope and relevance of lessons taught by the Teens and Toddlers facilitators and the guest teachers they bring into the school.
“Student participants learn about health and safety, including birth control, psychology, child development, parenting and child care. Equally important, the students are taught responsibility and commitment, along with communication skills.”
Dr. Monica Fiello, Teacher and Administrative Designee, Phoenix High School, 2012
“ Teens and Toddlers has resulted in greater commitment to their education, marked improvement in their attendance, improved relations with children, peers and adults, and an increase in their ability to self-advocate, set and achieve goals, and become more accountable and responsible young adults.”
Kate Mitchell, RSP Teacher, Phoenix High School, 2012
“(At McBride) the (teen) students not only learn how to work effectively with a variety of (toddlers') disabilities; they also develop a real appreciation for the opportunities they are exposed to in their own lives.
“For many Phoenix students, their experience with McBride students has opened up opportunities for future careers as classroom assistants, or teachers in early education.”
“I have seen incredible growth in (Teens & Toddlers participants). They have shown a marked improvement in attendance, greater commitment to their education and improved relationships at home.”
Shawnie Reisboard, Teacher, Phoenix High School, 2003
“(The Teens & Toddlers program) has given all our students the experience of being responsible leaders, not only taking care of themselves and their academic needs, but also taking care of the youth in the preschools.”
Eric Spears, Principal, Temescal Canyon High School, 1999
WHAT TEENS ARE SAYING
The Teens & Toddlers (T&T) participants, ages 15 – 19, volunteer along-side preschool staff and are given the responsibility of caring for their ‘little friends.’ Classroom instruction coupled with the social connection between these two age groups teaches conflict resolution, an appreciation of individual differences, professionalism in the work place, and the importance of community involvement and goal setting to provide them the skills needed to fulfill their potential.
"This class was my favorite class I had. You get to leave school and work with children and get a lot of experience with all the kids . You get to create a bond with them, the worst part of this class is when it was over!"
"Teens and Toddlers is an extraordinary program that allows students to interact and create bonds with children. The class was not only a learning experience but also a way to open up to other individuals. This program helped me see how tough it is being a young parent and the dangers that unprotected sex can bring. I loved this program and definitely recommend taking this course to every future phoenix student."
"This preschool is a wonderful place for kids; they treat the kids right. I think this is the only place where the kids could be themselves. How this school runs is very good; the teachers are great and when a child has a problem the people from the school try to teach the parents to talk about this problem and try to see how they could solve it for the better. For the better of the kid, the parents, and for the school."
"I’ve learned a lot about communication with children, and I’ve begun to understand better how they tried to express themselves. Conflict resolution is not always about resolution, but about voicing one’s opinion on the conflict, and hearing what one another have to say. And setting boundaries: to look at what they (children) are doing and tell them what is acceptable."
"I’m sad that our time at the preschool is ending. I have really enjoyed it. I wonder what will happen to these kids; how will they live their lives? What is going to happen to them in the future, and I wonder if I’ve changed any of their lives and if they will remember me for very long. I would really like to continue this program next semester. I also hope more people will participate next time. I think it makes these kids feel special to have a big person to play with; it gives them something to look forward to and be happy about."