We’ve always been amazed at the remarkable ways in which educators, youth workers, community members, and parents take positive youth development principles and make magic happen! Through our Implementation Strategies, we bring you the best examples of practical strategies people like you have developed and used. Use them as inspiration for your own actions . . . or use them as they are to make a difference to the kids in your life. Either way, we know you’ll appreciate each one.
We know recognizing people is an important part of being a leader. Check out these ideas you might like to try.
Looking for an activity to use with a group? Try this. Not only does it give people a chance to mingle but they can also find out something new about each other.
Young people are surround by adults and they know which adults are positive to be around? Why? This Implementation Tip helps young people explore the qualities of a positive role model and analyze what social competencies look like in real people they look up to.
We know helping young people build positive relationships is a key factor in their ultimate success. Sometimes it is difficult for an individual to really know what the roadblocks are to building strong relationships. Here is a resource you can try with young people you work with.
If you are looking for ideas on how to get young people involved in their community, one of the best ways is to ask them. Try reaching out to youth in all the places you find them (school, afterschool and youth serving organization, faith communities, and other systems of care) and sponsoring a student-led community-wide conference. Read more on how one community increased their youth's impact in what actions needed to take place for a change.
When children and youth take an active part in creating the guidelines for behavior in the program, they are more likely to take responsibility for their own behavior, and to accept the consequences if a guideline is broken. Author Eileen Wise explains the quick steps to creating guidelines with youth and provides an easy to use handout.
Children and adolescents today report elevated levels of stress and anxiety. Students who are anxious have additional difficulties learning, as stress hormones interfere with concentration and memory. Author Sarah Rudell Beach explains the use of mindfulness a powerful practice that is demonstrated to help young people improve their ability to concentrate, as well as develop skills for calming down and regulating emotion. Read more...
As superintendent of the West Carrollton School District, Dr. Rusty Clifford believes in the importance of his staff both knowing and regularly using the Developmental Asset® language. He wants everyone in the West Carrollton Schools to use the asset language in their daily interactions with students and community members. The issue he faced was how make the assets visible on a continual basis throughout their buildings and school community. Read more....
Finding time for staff development is not easy for people working with youth, regardless of setting. One way the Arlington Out of School Time (OST) Council found to provide yearlong staff development was to form the OST Brown Bag Workshop Series. Brown bag workshops are not new but what is unique is how this series is organized. Read more...
Families of young people undergoing cancer treatment often struggle with resources during the period of hospitalization. Author Don Draayer explains how a dying boys last wish now impacts many of these families and empowers students ages 7-17 to be a part of the greater good.
We know the importance of activities which involve youth and adults of all ages. The positive connections these activities create bring communities together and foster relationships. Author Ron Bonnevie describes the Tech-Spot they developed to provide the space for the adults and youth to come together.
Does your school or organization have a student/youth of the month award? Author Jamie Jones offers a way of delivering the award that is not only fun but helps the youth to learn more about the internal assets or explicit character traits. Read how this helps to encourage a safe school climate through student engagement.
One goal of the Dekko Foundation is to help young people succeed in gaining economic freedom. One of the methods the foundation uses to work with youth is through their "Youth Pods". These pods are groups of young people who come together to gain philanthropic skills and bring about change through grantmaking and community service. See how much success they had and how the young have grown through this process.
Author Marilyn Peplau explains how to show youth their personal power with a pendulum. See how simple the strategy is and the powerful results.
Children taken from homes in which they have been abused or neglected and placed in foster care tend to lose their identity and have their interests suppressed as more urgent issues are addressed by the courts. Author Christine Beyer interviews CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the use of the concept of SPARKS with these youth to help them cope with all the changes.
An implementation strategy sharing best practices based on the success of South High School’s (Minneapolis) Silver Ribbon Campaign, a school-based support group for students impacted by mental illness. This is a student-led strategy to reduce bias and stigma around mental health challenges in adolescence, raise awareness about mental illness, and increase student use of supportive services in a school based setting.
In an effort to help their community become one of the nation's healthiest, a New Richmond, WI fitness facility launched gratitude campaign. Read the details in this Implementation Strategy, submitted by trainer/consultant Marilyn Peplau.
Community coalitions that are trying to deepen community understanding of the Developmental Assets that help young people succeed and want to engage a broader audience in providing these assets to young people can use art as a vehicle to do both. Author Nancy Tellett-Royce describes how their community initiative used paintings from the community members to increase asset awareness.
When the link between assessment and Positive Youth Development is made, every classroom experience becomes an opportunity to allow students to engage in, and own, the educational experience. Author Matt Barnes, principal at Eldorado High School in Elorado, CA explains how assessment and positive youth development strategies go hand in hand to increase student motivation and success.
Author Deborah Fisher talks with Lee Rush from justCommunity on how and why they have provided the Student Support Card as a way to keep community members aware of what their youth are saying about their community. Rush sees this effort as a consciousness-raiser and it is making a real difference!
Check out this innovative strategy to engage children of incarcerated parents through a community-based bicycle program! Based on sound positive youth development principles and engaging a number of community partners, this strategy has great potential for replication anywhere!
Author Deborah Fisher interviews principal Matthew Barnes on how to use the Common Core Standards as you continue to implement positive youth development efforts. Read more on his thoughts.
Authors Deborah Fisher and Susan Savell explain how Communities for Children and Youth Initiative (C4CY) launched the expansion of Colby College's college-based mentoring program to 5 other Maine universities. This implementation strategy provides research findings from the launch and how to set up your own college mentoring.
How do adults build relationships that are solid, trusting, safe, respectful, reciprocal and long-lasting? Author Nancy Tellett-Royce provides strategies that work, read how?
How do you meaningfully respond to survey data about your community and its youth? Darien, CT utilized two major strategies to engage community members and empower their young people to have a voice in altering community dynamics. Read more about their efforts in this important Implementation Strategy.
Local Rotarians work with school administration to identify students who need more support. Find out more about the STRIVE ("Students Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education") Mentoring program.
This implementation strategy is an example of how one organization combined the need for nutritional meals for cancer patients and empowering young people can bring about a powerful change to everyone involved. Read how Food of Love engaged youth of all ages in providing a much needed service in their community.
Bolster Collaborative trainer and speaker Marilyn Peplau shares her idea on being a secet shopper. She explains how this technique can give you a unique perspective of your community from the young people.
This Implementation Strategy from Manassas, VA describes how student leaders are empowered to make a meaningful difference in their community. Their efforts include an ambitous food drive to address local needs.
Learn how one school system involves their whole community to welcome the children back to school. Their intent was to show the young people how important they are as members of the community.
This video Implementation Strategy describes how public schools in Prince William County, Virginia, engaged and empowered students to make a difference in their school climate. After middle-school students and advisors attended an all-day Change of Heart retreat to address student interactions and the climate of their school, they created a Change of Heart Club to sustain the momentum of what they learned while at the event. Find out more about the club's development and its results in this short video summary.
This Implementation Strategy outlines a fascinating and informative discovery process former Texas Middle School Principal, Randy Adair, developed to identify those students who might benefit from proactive outreach by teachers and staff. Includes a step-by-step outline of the process that you can use in your own development sessions.
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