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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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Getting Young People on Board

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.

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Informal Mentoring
  • Role Models
  • Youth Outreach
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Tech-Spot: Connecting Young People with Adults

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.  

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Informal Mentoring
  • Role Models
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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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Using SPARKS to Inform the Work of Advocates for Children in Foster Care

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.   

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Informal Mentoring
  • Role Models
  • Staff Development
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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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Using Art to Raise Awareness of Developmental Assets® in Your Community

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.

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Informal Mentoring
  • Role Models
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Momentum Bike Clubs

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!

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Informal Mentoring
  • Role Models
  • Staff Development
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College Students Mentor School-Aged Children to Foster Their Success

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.

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Informal Mentoring
  • Mentoring
  • Role Models
  • Staff Development
  • Youth Outreach
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Building Positive Relationships, One Step at a Time

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? 

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Informal Mentoring
  • Mentoring
  • Staff Development
  • Youth Outreach
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Using a Thriving Youth Task Force and a Youth Asset Team to Give Youth a Voice in Their Community

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.

Topics Covered:

  • Engagement
  • Informal Mentoring
  • Role Models
  • 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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