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Implementation Strategies

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.


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Helping Our Youth Through the Grieving Process

Helping our youth through the grieving process can be difficult.  What is the right thing to say, and what needs to be done for different age groups? Bolster Collaborative provides some strategies to use when working with grieving children, youth, and adults.  

Topics Covered:

  • Role Models
  • Staff Development
  • Student-Teacher Relations
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Diversity Bingo

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.  

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Role Models
  • Staff Development
  • Student-Teacher Relations
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Role Models and Their Strengths

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.

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Role Models
  • Student-Teacher Relations
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Building Your Own Relationship Skills - A Tip to Use with Youth

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.  

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Staff Development
  • Student-Teacher Relations
  • Youth Outreach
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Helping Youth Create Their Own Behavior Guidelines

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.  

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Staff Development
  • Student-Teacher Relations
  • Youth Outreach
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Introducing Mindfulness to Students with Mindful Listening

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...

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Role Models
  • Staff Development
  • Student-Teacher Relations
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Keeping the Developmental Asset Language Alive

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....

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Role Models
  • Student-Teacher Relations
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Miracles of Mitch Foundation

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. 

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Role Models
  • Student-Teacher Relations
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Student of the Month: What it Looks Like from a PYD Lens

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. 

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Role Models
  • Student-Teacher Relations
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Teaching Philanthropy and Leadership by Doing

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.  

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Informal Mentoring
  • Mentoring
  • Role Models
  • Student-Teacher Relations
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Personal Power Pendulum

Author Marilyn Peplau explains how to show youth their personal power with a pendulum.  See how simple the strategy is and the powerful results.  

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Role Models
  • Staff Development
  • Student-Teacher Relations
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Silver Ribbon Campaign

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.

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Informal Mentoring
  • Role Models
  • Staff Development
  • Student-Teacher Relations
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Assessment Practices and Positive Youth Development

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.

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Staff Development
  • Student-Teacher Relations
  • Youth Outreach
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Implementing the Student Support Card

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!

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Role Models
  • Student-Teacher Relations
  • Youth Outreach
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Implementing Common Core Standards on the Ground

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. 

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Staff Development
  • Student-Teacher Relations
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Student LEAD Team

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.

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Student-Teacher Relations
  • Youth Outreach
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Using Day One to Launch a Successful School Year

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.

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Role Models
  • Student-Teacher Relations
  • Youth Outreach
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It's in the Stars

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.

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Informal Mentoring
  • Staff Development
  • Student-Teacher Relations
  • Youth Outreach
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