YPP in Southern Illinois is supported by Southern Illinois University and situated in various communities east of St. Louis across the state border between Missouri and Illinois. Currently the sites focus on the Flagway™ Game as their main programmatic component.
The Alton and Madison, IL programs use a near-peer mentor model to provide opportunities for both high school and 5th and 6th grade students in the Madison, Venice, Brooklyn, and Alton, IL school districts. There are two Flagway leagues across these communities, a returning Alton league and a new Madison league that includes students from Madison, Venice and Brooklyn school districts.
High school students serve as near-peer mentors, getting paid to mentor and teach 5th and 6th graders from their community. The high-school coaches received their training from the experts from the Young People’s Project in the Fall of each school year. Currently there are eight (8) high school coaches for the Alton league and seven (7) for the Madison league. The high school coaches are supervised by graduate and undergraduate students from SIUE. Two supervisors have been assigned to each league.
The 5th and 6th grade league games take place through out the school year. Currently, there are about 32 5th and 6th grade participants total. These participants are broken up into four (4) teams of 5 to 8 participants, which are led by two high school coaches. Students at all levels learn key math concepts through engaging, hands-on activities that build an understanding of factors. As the spring semester comes to an end, the winning team from each league will participate in the YPP National Flagway™ Tournament!