REACH Program

What is the R.E.A.C.H. program?

Children locked up in California’s detention centers often need the most care, guidance, and help. Unfortunately, society usually turns away and shuts the door. R.E.A.C.H (Read, Empower, Attain, Create, Hope) aims to change that. R.E.A.C.H brings students and faculty from the University of Redlands to work with and learn from students in San Bernardino Central Detention and Assessment Center and RYEF-Gateway, a juvenile court placement.

R.E.A.C.H. volunteers build mentoring relationships, conduct writing workshops, lead discussions that build emotional literacy, critical thinking, and writing skills. Most importantly, we aim to show these children that society has not forgotten them and that they can find paths to successful adulthood.

Student volunteers learn as much as they teach through the R.E.A.C.H. program. Volunteers become confident public speakers and gain teaching experience as they tutor and develop and facilitate creative workshops. They also learn about the juvenile justice system and the societal inequalities that lead so many young people to end up behind bars.

R.E.A.C.H. is a partnership between the San Bernardino Probation Department, San Bernardino County Schools, the University of Redlands’ Race and Ethnic Studies Program, and the Office of Community Service Learning.

Students may participate in R.E.A.C.H. as volunteers or through the following classes:

  • REST 210.01 (2 credit) R.E.A.C.H.: Juvenile Justice Experiential Learning. Students learn about the juvenile justice system as they volunteer. They develop their own learning goals and write reflections to analyze their experience.

  • Inside Out Classes offered in REST and School of Education These courses bring U of R and Gateway students together to explore the juvenile justice system and education in fully shared classes that meet in juvenile hall. *Students must apply and get cleared before participating.

    For R.E.A.C.H. program details, to volunteer, or to register for an Internships (for course credit or CER credit), contact Dr. Jennifer Tilton at


R.E.A.C.H. has temporarily paused providing workshops and tutoring in San Bernardino juvenile hall due to the Coronavirus. We are sorry to have cut our program short this year and hope to be back soon providing critical thinking and creative expression opportunities for young people in the juvenile justice system. We want to thank our amazing team of volunteers for bringing joy, learning, and community to incarcerated youth

A special thank you to Probation and teaching staff for all the support they have provided over the last year. We look forward to working with you again soon in partnership.


Dr. Jennifer Tilton
R.E.A.C.H. Student Coordinators & Volunteers