'Elite Youth Program' Headed to Trewyn

By Maggie Vespa

July 25, 2011 Updated Jul 25, 2011 at 10:35 PM CDT

By now you may have seen their neon yellow shirts out and about in Central Illinois.

If not, you've likely heard of them.

They're members of the 'Elite Youth Program', run by Peoria's Carl Cannon, and they're about to branch out from the city's streets, into its classrooms.

Take a stroll by Peoria's Trewyn School this week, and you may notice signs of a recent sprucing up.

As it turns out, the inside of Trewyn is also set to get a makeover, and those behind the move aren't staying quiet.

"Oh! Yeah! We're a little loud," yelled Carl Cannon at the meeting.

Monday night, Peoria Public school board members voted 5-0 with one abstaining, in favor of an intergovernmental agreement with the Peoria Park District.

The deal incorporates Carl Cannon's 'Elite Youth Program', also known as those behind the new plants and playground, into Trewyn School.

Elite promotes respect and self discipline.

"Our thing is behavior. Control behavior so learning can take place," said Cannon.

Trewyn staff and parents were ecstatic.

"I firmly believe that where Trewyn rests is simply a matter of geography, and it should not determine the type of education and the type of people our students are able to interact with," said Renee Andrews, principal at Trewyn.

This change accompanies another. This year, for the first time, Trewyn will house grades K-8.

Cannon and four staff members, will be there five days a week, year-round.

He says he's excited to reach students so young.

"It's allowing them to grow up, maybe at a little faster pace than they would've grown up were we not there."

And it's an opportunity that has him looking ahead, calling the move a pilot program for the entire district.

"How dare we have success, and we will, and not share it," said Cannon.

Seeing as staff already has an Elite song, that enthusiasm appears to be building.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.