A new alternative education program shows off its two new locations.

Ombudsman works with the Rockford Public School District and the YMCA to approach education in a different way.

Kids split their time between an innovative learning center on Kishwaukee St., where they focus on middle school academics, and the “Fit for Life” school at the YMCA, where they work on wellness and social skills.

YMCA Rock River Valley Branch Director for Education and Leadership Chris Cameron says, “We need to have an alternative style of education for those that may otherwise slip through the cracks. And that’s where we’ve come in on a middle school level to make this happen.”

The YMCA also incorporates its Big Brothers, Big Sisters program into the curriculum.