The Open Paths Counseling Center, which provides free services to at-risk youths in local public schools, is marking its tenth anniversary this year.

During the 2007-08 school year, Open Paths Counseling Center has implemented programs at Venice and Mar Vista public schools, including Mar Vista Elementary, Coeur d’Alene Elementary, Mark Twain Middle and Venice High School.

The counseling center’s school outreach consists of three distinct programs:

— one-on-one counseling for low-income elementary students combining talk, play and art therapy;

— the EX/PRESS Program for pre-teens and teens which focuses on the therapeutic value of creative writing and artistic expression in overcoming emotional and behavioral problems; and

— violence prevention groups that teach anger-management and coping skills at the high school level.

The outreach programs are made possible entirely by community support, according to the center’s spokesman.

Grants received this year include $5,000 from both Wells Fargo and Toyota; $1,500 from Aaroe Associates Charitable Foundation; $1,000 from Playa Vista Corporation; and $5,000 from the Peter Norton Family Foundation for EX/PRESS.

Information, www.openpaths .org/.

Share