News Releases

CJR Offers Outreach Program for Meriden Teens
Posted 10/26/2017 02:19PM

The Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) has a limited number of openings in its Teen Outreach Program (TOP) for Meriden boys and girls entering grades 6 through 12 during the 2017-18 School Year.  This evidence-based, best practice, after-school program enrolls up to 50 students and applications are currently being accepted.  CJR’s Teen Outreach Program is funded by the Department of Social Services, with supplemental support provided by the Junior Republic through legacies and charitable gifts.  Students must be between the ages of 12 to 17 to participate.  There is no charge to young people and their families and TOP services are provided on an after-school basis at CJR’s Child, Youth and Family Support Center, located at One Colony Street in Meriden.

This nationally recognized program consists of four age/stage appropriate levels, and is designed to help students learn about and achieve healthy development in the following areas: values; relationships; communication and assertiveness; influence; goal-setting; decision-making; human development and sexuality; and community service. 

Students participate in three interrelated program components, including supervised community service; group discussions; and activities related to key social and developmental tasks of adolescence.  In each program component, youth work in small groups with a facilitator.  Values, human growth and development, relationships, and dealing with family stress and issues relating to the social and emotional transition from adolescence to adulthood are discussed.  In these sessions, participating boys and girls strengthen and enhance their communication and decision-making skills.  Students develop service learning projects which are then implemented within their home environments.  These projects combine education and community service goals and empower young people to be successful while rewarding healthy behaviors, improved life skills and coping abilities and a sense of purpose. 

According to CJR Executive Director Daniel W. Rezende, CJR’s Teen Outreach Program educates teens about the consequence of risky behaviors, including violence and sexual activity, and is one of an increasing number of evidence-based programs that the Junior Republic provides for at-risk boys and girls.  Proven outcomes of this service model include a 52 percent lower risk of school suspensions; 60 percent lower risk of academic failure; 53 percent lower risk of pregnancy; and 60 percent lower risk of dropping out of school.

 “We are pleased to be able to offer this program for Meriden boys and girls and to provide an important educational resource for the community,” he stated.  Students will attend the TOP weekdays during the school year, from 2:30 to 5:00 PM.   Fridays are generally used for scheduled community service learning activities.

Parents who wish to enroll their children in the Teen Outreach Program should contact Joanne Medina, Teen Outreach Program Facilitator, by phone: (203) 440-4622, ext. 206; or by email:, as soon as possible, as spaces are limited.

Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) provides care, treatment, education and family support for vulnerable at-risk, special needs and troubled young people so they may become productive and fulfilled members of their homes, schools and communities.  Today, the organization’s combined programs serve nearly 2,000 boys and girls annually in 12 locations throughout Connecticut.

The Junior Republic conducts three residential programs for court-referred young men on its Litchfield campus.  Regular, special, vocational and alternative education programs are provided for boys from communities throughout Connecticut at CJR’s Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center, which is located on its Litchfield campus.  Enhancement, transition and related services are also provided.

CJR provides additional residential services for boys at its group homes in Winchester and short-term, residential crisis intervention for girls in Waterbury.  A broad spectrum of prevention, early intervention, family support, and intensive, home-based service and aftercare programs are provided for boys and girls through CJR’s community locations in Danbury, East Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, New Haven, New Britain (two sites), Torrington and Waterbury.  Behavioral and mental health services are provided at most of the above locations, as well.

A private charitable organization, the Connecticut Junior Republic is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  CJR is supported by gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations, and through service contracts funded by the Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division (CSSD), the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), and by Connecticut’s public schools.  For further information, please contact Hedy Barton, Director of Development and Public Relations (860) 567-9423, ext. 252; or by email:

  • Connecticut Junior Republic
  • 550 Goshen Road, P.O. Box 161
  • Litchfield, CT 06759
  • (860) 567-9423



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