HELIX Youth Outreach

Wednesdays, 3:00-5:00pm

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HELIX is a weekly afterschool program for 5th through 8th grade youth, hosted and sponsored by St. John UCC. While HELIX is sponsored by the congregation, our programming does not promote any particular religious affiliation or dogma, and we welcome youth of all religions or no religion.

It’s a safe place for youth to

  • grow as individuals, 
  • build strong relationships, 
  • explore their values and beliefs,
  • serve their community, and
  • have fun!

You can contact us at





More About Us

The HELIX program is free of charge and designed to help youth meet age-appropriate Social/Emotional Learning Standards (SEL) of the Illinois State Board of Education. You can read more about those standards HERE.

The name HELIX is an acronym that spells out our values:

  • Honor one another, including others’ personhood, values, and beliefs
  • Engage with one another in a spirit of openness and learning
  • Listen to one another, respecting others’ words, stories, feelings, and thoughts
  • Include and welcome all people in our community into our lives, no matter who they are or where they are on life’s journey
  • Be an eXample to others in our decisions, words, and actions

Social and Emotional Learning

HELIX understands its role in helping youth meet age-appropriate Social/Emotional Learning Standards (SEL) standards of Illinois State Board of Education.  We do this by structuring its program by these standard to meet SEL standards and performance descriptors.


The Social/Emotional Learning Standards (SEL) were articulated by the Illinois State Board of Education in 2004 and guide schools and districts to address three learning goals:

  • Goal 1: Develop self-awareness and self-management skills to achieve school and life success.
  • Goal 2: Use social-awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships.
  • Goal 3: Demonstrate decision-making skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community contexts.

HELIX also trains its paid and volunteer staff to be able to assess areas that impact an individual’s social and emotional engagement within scope of the mission and values of the program.

For more information on the Illinois State Board of Education SEL standards and descriptors, please click here.