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Youth Education Summer Socialization (YESS)

What Is YESS?

Youth Education Summer Socialization Program (YESS) is a 9 week summer program serving students ages 5-21 with developmental disabilities.  The program offers a half day of education in classroom settings; half day of recreation in the community Monday through Thursdays; and Friday day trips throughout the state. The program is designed to help students retain what they have learned during the school year while developing improved communication and socialization skills.

Why Should I Choose YESS?

The YESS program offers opportunities that no other program can.  Through the unique collaboration between The Arc of Sedgwick County, Wichita’s USD 259, The Wichita Department of Park and Recreation, The United Way of the Plains, and Sedgwick County, YESS can provide education, recreation, and socialization in a community setting.  There is no other program like YESS in the nation.  What YESS offers students, families, and the community is a chance to develop friendships, build self esteem, independence and personal growth.

Why Summer School?

Special Education teachers spend approximately 85% of the fall quarter re-teaching what was lost over the summer.  In YESS, students can continue in an educational setting, maintaining what they learned while developing new social skills.  The students are challenged through fun educational activities relating to a weekly theme.  The themes provide a common goal to all the classes and make for an exciting learning environment.  Past themes have included:  YESS 2020, Wichita-Air Capitol of the World, Random Acts of Kindness, and Kansas History.  With these themes the students and teachers creativity is unleashed and the results are always exciting.

Is Socialization Important?

Socialization is a key component of the YESS program.  Every day we interact with people in a variety of social settings.  Through these experiences we have developed social skills, the manner in which we communicate with and behave towards others.  Social skills are learned over time through experience.  YESS offers these experiences everyday in community settings.  Each day the students will participate in many fun activities ranging from swimming, horseback riding, and movies; to trips to Exploration Place, World’s of Fun and the Kansas Cosmosphere.  These activities not only provide socialization, but make lasting memories.

Are Scholarships Available?

YES!  Through the support of the United Way and USD 259 we are able to offer scholarships for two week blocks.  You would only pay $10.00 to USD 259, which would cover two full weeks of YESS.  Scholarships are given out according to need, but may be made available to all that apply if scholarships remain.

What Else Should I Know?

YESS also offers overnight opportunities; a Sibling Week Program; Inclusion Day Activities; Family Nights & the Volunteers to Work Program.

YESS 2014 Application 

YESS 2014 Staff Application