Welcome to RAD & DEN

RAD (Recreational Academic Development) is a supervised after-school meeting place where 5th and 6th graders can get help with homework, socialize with friends, create art projects, and join in games and service projects. This free program is located in the Highcrest Middle School cafeteria, and runs Monday-Friday from 3:35 to 6:00 p.m. (Starts September 6, 2017)

The DEN is a free, supervised, after school program where 7th and 8th graders can do homework, socialize with friends, and play games. The DEN takes place in the WJHS Commons, Monday-Friday, 3:10-5:00pm. (Starts September 6, 2017)


Each student also needs a Late Pick-up Policy form on file and a Self Check-out Form (if applicable).

We rely on donations, grants and volunteers to provide our programs. Please consider asking your corporation if it will match your gift to Youth Connection.  In addition to a monetary contribution, supplies are always appreciated.  Why not add a little something from Youth Connection’s Amazon Wish List to your next online order?

Below is a brief overview of our sign-in/sign-out procedures, our behavior policy, and some other general information.

SIGN-IN/SIGN-OUT: All participants are required to sign into the RAD/DEN program each afternoon they attend. When we have received a phone call that you are here to pick-up your child, or they are leaving to ride their bike home or walking to the Community Playfield for soccer practice, they will sign-out and note the time they are leaving the program. Please call our RAD pick-up line when you arrive at the school to pick-up your child. We will send them out to the front to meet you. The number is 847-254-2225.  For DEN, the number is 847-254-2224.

PERMISSION TO LEAVE WITHOUT A PHONE CALL: Please send in a note regarding special circumstances allowing your child to leave the program on their own for baseball, soccer or football practice, if they are riding their bike home, or if they have permission to leave and walk home on their own at a designated time.

LATE PICK-UP: All participants need to be picked up by 6pm for RAD and 5:00pm for DEN. If you arrive late, there will be a late charge of $10 for every 15 minute block of time. For instance, if you arrive at 6:07pm, we will charge you a late fee of $10. If you arrive at 6:19pm, we will charge you a late fee of $20.

DAYS OFF: RAD and DEN will follow the District 39 school schedule of days off of school. We will not offer RAD or DEN on Early Release Days, or days off of school.

BEHAVIOR POLICY: Youth Connection and RAD/DEN will hold each participant to the Highcrest Middle School and Wilmette Jr. High School student behavior standards outlined in the student planner(s). We will work with all participants to help resolve any problems/issues that may arise. We want to make sure that everyone who attends feels comfortable and safe during our program. In most circumstances, a verbal warning will be given for the first ‘offense’. This will then be followed by a written warning sent home to the parents. A one day suspension from the program will be issued if the behavior continues. In any circumstances that include violence/acting out physically toward another participant, the parents will be notified right away. No verbal warning will be given. A repeat offense will result in a suspension from the program, to be determined by the Executive Director of Youth Connection, Cristina Castro.

For many children, RAD and DEN is a new opportunity to exercise independence in decision-making. Prior to attending, parents may want to remind their child to:

■ Speak kindly to others and use appropriate language.
■ Be courteous and remember to say “please” and “thank you.”
■ Respect and listen to RAD and DEN staff. (Let them know if any problems occur.)
■ Be patient with other participants and respect their feelings.
■ Respect the property of fellow participants, staff, Highcrest Middle School and WJHS.

If your child requires any special assistance to attend RAD/DEN or has an IEP or Behavior Plan with information specific to your child’s success in our programming, please contact Cristina Castro in advance so that we can work with the school administration to ensure appropriate support measures are put in place.

If you have any questions, or need to contact Cristina Castro, Executive Director of Youth Connection, please call 847-254-2224, or email her at director@youthconnectionwilmette.org.