- Who makes most of the decisions that affect youth in your program—youth or adults?
- How can you start giving youth more opportunities to make decisions in your program?
- What young people could you ask for program input?
- What would you like to know about?
- How will you let them know that you are listening to their feedback and implementing their ideas?
These are some of the questions we ask in our newest book, Groups, Troops, Clubs and Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth. It is full of strategies to help educators, coaches and youth workers bring out the best in young people! Check it out and share it with someone else that loves young people!Filed under Positive Youth Development, Youth Leadership and Youth Power | Comment (0)
Lunch and Learns are perfect for the small group experience of 6-12 people that wants a deeper professional development opportunity. Participants meet on a regular basis and practice skills in-between sessions and have time to reflect and ask questions about implementation. Research says that this kind of learning style is more likely to create change in work habits AND produce more long-lasting results in your organization.
Our most popular Lunch & Learn is called: Connect * Explore *Grow – Strategies for Youth Engagement
Description: This interactive learning circle will explore a variety of creative strategies to engage youth – meeting them where they are in order to help them grow in mind, body and spirit. Specific strategies will include service-learning, play with purpose, discovering a sense of self, literacy and creative arts. You will leave sessions with practical and inspiring ideas to connect with young people, access to resources to help them explore the world around them and grow in their goals as well as activities to build literacy and creativity skills. Come ready to learn and share.
Length of Time: 4 Sessions, 2 hours each session
Let us know if you are interested in scheduling a Lunch & Learn for your organization or school. We can facilitate this topic, or combine your choice of other workshops that we offer – custom-designed to fit your group. 615-262-9676 or cad@TheAssetEdge.net
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In San Diego, California, a group of young people spent their New Year’s Eve quite differently than the way most people hail in the New Year. They were bundled up in a van loaded down with blankets. They drove around the downtown area, not to look for parties but to look for people. Homeless people. This group had spent some time collecting coats and blankets for the homeless. For this particular evening, they were out on patrol to distribute blankets and well wishes for a healthy year for San Diego’s homeless.
— Reprinted with permission from our book Ready to Go Service Projects: 140 Ways for Youth Groups to Lend a Hand. Find more ways to help youth engage their skills, talents and passions in serving the community by picking up your own book at your favorite online bookseller OR bring us to your school, church or community organization to lead service-learning workshop!Filed under Service-Learning | Comment (0)
“[The world’s hope] is to rely on youth . . .
not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the
imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for
adventure over the love of ease.”
–U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, 1966Filed under Service-Learning, Youth Leadership and Youth Power | Comment (0)
We offer a variety of training and professional development support opportunities to help staff teams grow in their understanding and development in putting positive youth development practices into action. From research to implementable ideas, Susan and Ann work to help your team become more experiential, engaging and knowledgeable in impacting youth.
Participants can expect:
- To have a good training experience and feel their time was used well.
- To have reinforced positive attitudes – recharged about their work and their calling.
- To learn something: about the subject, about themselves and/or about the team.
- To leave with at least 2 concrete ideas they can apply to their work.
- To leave with an expressed intention to take action.
- To receive a follow up e-mail that reminds them of their action commitment and asks how things are going, 4- 8 weeks after training..
Mix and match from these professional development options to choose what your school needs based on how your staff team learns best:
- Lunch and Learns – professional development in small group settings, where participants practice concepts with practical applications between sessions.
- Professional Development Programs Trainings – 2-8 hours workshops for adults, youth leaders or a combination of youth/adults.
- Consulting – our staff can assess the culture of service and service-learning at your school; from the classroom, to the athletic fields, to student groups, to goals for grade levels, to awards, to student leadership, from the school calendar, to the website, to field trips. We will listen to hopes and dreams from students, faculty, board, and parents; then and outline next steps for growth towards a school wide culture of giving/serving. Or we can develop systems to help you meet your growth goals.
- Curriculum Design – we can customize existing curriculum or write new curriculum to fit with your service, service-learning, and overall youth development plan.
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We’ve been doing a lot of research to understand more about how youth are wired – spending time with youth, studying personalities and researching brain development. We’re fascinated by what we’ve learned and we’re having a blast sharing the info and practical strategies with schools and youth organizations. Check out this workshop that we’ve designed:
Understanding How Youth are Wired
Each child is wired with unique personality, interests, skills, attitudes and capacities. Each one has individual needs, desires, dreams and wants. There ARE, however, important, general aspects and facts that can help us better understand their psyches and developmental needs. This workshop shares some key insights on the “science” and “wisdom” of human development that will help you in establishing helpful practices and attitudes to maximize your time with your group. Explore brain development, the multiple intelligences, active reflection, and the various learning styles that allow young people to learn well. Strategies to maximize learning opportunities while actively engaging youth are presented.
Length of time: 3 – 4 hours
Contact us if you want to bring this workshop to your organization – 615-262-9676 or cad@TheAssetEdge.net.Filed under Educational Resources, Positive Youth Development, Teambuilding & Play with Purpose, Workshops | Comment (0)
“Imagine a young boy raised by a father who comes home after work and is abusive to his children and wife on a regular basis. The young boy grows up to despise his father, and by the time he reaches his teenage years, is ready to make something happen. Abuse shelters are available, but sadly he’s learned not to trust adults. He could call the cops, but the last time his mom called he returned home a day later only to find her more battered than ever. So he decides what he needs to do, run away from home and finally be free from abuse.
According to a recent study by the Mobile Health Team serving local shelters and drop-in centers in Hollywood, 76.7% of runaway youth reported histories of abuse and neglect.”
The Street Angels Ministry at the Mission Gathering Church in San Diego supports homeless teenagers. Volunteers gather twice a month to fill backpacks with supplies for survival on the streets. They deliver the goods to young people that they meet on the streets. Instead of just preaching the gospel, they show God’s love through their actions. Their goal is, “To try to let teens know that they are loved and cared for despite their situation.” For more information, visit missiongathering.com)
— Reprinted with permission from our book Ready to Go Service Projects: 140 Ways for Youth Groups to Lend a Hand. Find more ways to help youth engage their skills, talents and passions in serving the community by picking up your own book at your favorite online bookseller OR bring us to your school, church or community organization to lead service-learning workshop!Filed under Positive Youth Development, Service-Learning | Comment (0)
- Decide. Decide you’re going to be as present as you can to each moment and find the joy. Many times we are surrounded by joys we don’t see because we’re too focused on the next deadline or project. Decide to live in the present moment and fully experience it.
- Every day, embrace what’s good. When something good happens, don’t cut it off in your hurry to move on! Stop, note it, recognize it, and receive it as the gift it is.
- Hit replay. Savor what’s good. Re-picture it and turn it into an experience. Feel those feelings again; feel them in your body—the peace, the sense of wonder. Stay with those good feelings and memories for as long as you can. Why not? Prolonging the experience can deepen and magnify the memory. Reliving good things is worth it. Besides, it takes repetition for the brain to make experiences into long-term memories. Store up those good moments!
- Share gratitude. The act of sharing is a happiness booster. And it brings its own reason to be grateful. Giving of ourselves is a quick way to access gratitude. Can you hold open a door? Help someone cross the street? Change a lightbulb? Take a moment to listen? Share an encouraging word? Give a hug or a smile? In giving, you find much to be grateful for. That’s a double gratitude!
This is an excerpt from our new book, Groups, Troops, Clubs and Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth. It is full of strategies to help educators, coaches and youth workers bring out the best in young people! Check it out and share it with someone else that loves young people!Filed under Building Character, Gratitude | Comment (0)
We talk a lot about play with purpose and learning through play. Oftentimes people want to learn more about the power of play – why is it important and how can they facilitate powerful learning through play. So we developed this workshop to meet that need for schools and community organizations:
Title: Why Play? The Foundation Behind the Fun
Description: Play isn’t just play. It’s transformational. Play can feed the brain; develop multiple intelligences and make a-ha moments of learning come to life. Play provides opportunities to build and transform relationships and create venues for youth voice, creativity and self-expression – all attributes that help develop the whole child. Based on the best-selling book, Great Group Games, each game connects to group development stages and to the research on Positive Youth Development. Explore the theory behind play and why games are an important part of your students’ education. Learn how to “play with purpose” – having fun AND implementing best practices at the same time. Walk away with games to help you in the classroom.
Length of time: 2-4 hours.
Also ask us about our all day train-the-trainer in The Art of Facilitating Games.
615-262-9676 or cad@TheAssetEdge.net.
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Sixth graders at St. Paul Christian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee mentor younger reading partners, ages 5-8, at Preston Taylor Ministries (PTM), an inner-city ministry that aims to “empower children to discover and live their God-inspired dreams through Christian friendships and love for learning.” The St. Paul 6th graders aim to develop a supportive relationship with each child while helping him/her with reading skills. The read books to the children, help the children learn to read tough words, coach children on their homework, and sometimes just take time to play together.
During a special project, the 6th graders each purchased one of their favorite children’s books with literacy grant money from Kids Care Clubs. Davis Kidd Bookstore donated canvas book bags. After reading their gift books with their buddies the buddies then decorated the bags together as a final activity..
Over the course of a year, the sixth graders become very passionate about the relationships they are building with their buddies, and the importance of academic success. The younger children increase their reading skills, which will lead to greater success in school and life.
Below are some comments from the 6th grade mentors that reflect what they’ve gained or realized from their involvement in service:
“The first time I went to PTM I was nervous. Now I’m not as nervous. It is fun. I like that we can help other people. It helps us learn that we don’t have to live in our own little bubble, and there are people in the world that need our help.” “I have learned a lot from working with kids at PTM., like how to be patient with younger children and some of the time myself. I have also discovered that some of us are good at being patient and are good teachers, and some are better fit for other things.” “If these children do not learn to read by third grade, it will be hard for them when they are older. Our sixth grade class is tutoring the kids by reading with them and making special friendships with them, so that they know that someone cares about them. ” “Preston Taylor Ministries shows me how blessed I am and that God provides and gives his love to all children. This has been a time where I have really grown in my relationship with the Lord and PTM shows me that there are many ways to reach out to our brothers and sisters.”
Reprinted with permission from our book Ready to Go Service Projects: 140 Ways for Youth Groups to Lend a Hand. Find more ways to help youth engage their skills, talents and passions in serving the community by picking up your own book at your favorite online bookseller OR bring us to your school, church or community organization to lead service-learning workshop!
Filed under Service-Learning, Youth Leadership and Youth Power | Comment (0)
You wouldn’t believe the number of calls we get from youth organizations and schools asking for help in bridging the gap among the untold number of diversities we are seeing in teams of youth and adults. It can be tough to work together with a multitude of differences! So we developed a fun, interactive, reflective workshop to help teams know their groups well and learn to work together based on the strengths found in our differences.
From Personalities to Differences: Know Your Group
Want to learn how to build relationships with the infinite variety of ways youth come to us: culturally, geographically, economically, physically, emotionally, sexually and educationally diverse. Whatever the package, we want to know them, respect them, and help them build common ground with people that are different. Personal assessments, conversations, strategies and activities will all be part of this interactive process.
Length of time: 3 hours
Wanna know more? Contact us at 615-262-9676 or cad@TheAssetEdge.net.
Filed under Building Character, Organizational Change, Positive Youth Development, Teambuilding & Play with Purpose, Workshops | Comment (0)
Josiah Brown went on his first mission trip at age 14. He went with the West End Community Church youth group to Window Rock, Arizona, a small town on the Navajo Reservation. He and the other 19 volunteers painted houses and helped with a children’s program called Kids Club.
Most of the children came from broken homes, or even homes where a 13-year-old was the only authority figure. The parents often went to a big city like Albuquerque or Phoenix in order to find a job, so the oldest sibling would be left in charge for months at a time. When the children came to Kids Club, they’d put aside their “tough guy” acts, and just have fun playing games. In general, these kids have so many responsibilities, that they’re not allowed to just hang out and be kids. During Kids Club, they can just be kids.
Josiah reflects on the experience:
- Why was this important?
- Kept the kids out of trouble by giving them positive activities. Away from the gangs
- What did you do at Kids Club?
- 3 stations of outdoor games, arts & crafts, and Bible theater/songs/activities
- How many kids?
- Aimed at 5-12, but all the kids came, b/c there was nothing else to do
- no adult was left to watch the babies, so everyone came
- How did you make a difference?
- The kids saw volunteers that wanted to hang out with them & play with them. Helped them feel valuable.
- How did the work impact you & other volunteers?
- Learned more about their culture – didn’t know whether to expect teepees.
- More aware of poverty in America
- More thoughtful of people in poverty.
- Poverty was no longer something in Africa – it’s something that happens near me. They’re just like me. They’re just in different circumstances.
- A lot of fun with our group.
- Has it affected your desire for outreach & missions back home?
- The first week back I wanted to do a Kid’s club in Nashville. Wanted to play games with kids and love on them. I’d like to do another one in the future.
“At first, I couldn’t really see what good I was doing by playing with the kids, but then I read a verse that says: ‘Whatever you did unto the least of these, my brothers, you did unto me.’ (Matthew 25:40) When I thought about that, it made me realize that what I was doing to these kids, I was doing to Jesus, and that helping these kids and making them happy was something worthwhile. I mean, after all, Jesus died for me, so anything I can do for Him is something worth doing.” – Josiah Brown, August, 2007
Reprinted with permission from our book Ready to Go Service Projects: 140 Ways for Youth Groups to Lend a Hand. Find more ways to help youth engage their skills, talents and passions in serving the community by picking up your own book at your favorite online bookseller OR bring us to your school, church or community organization to lead service-learning workshop!Filed under Nurturing Families, Service-Learning | Comments Off
Connecting with youth is phenomenal progress, but it’s the tip of the iceberg when it comes to positive youth development. In this chapter, we’re going to go beyond connecting with youth and cover what it means to really know youth. What it means to be in a relationship with your youth. The time you spend getting to know your youth as individuals—their personalities, quirks, cultures, strengths, and needs—is the most important time you will ever spend in your program.
Think about it: What will your youth remember most about you? Will it be the clothes you wore or how you combed your hair? In all likelihood, youth will remember the kind of relationship you had with them. More than math equations learned, knots tied, and zip-lines crossed, they will remember whether you cared about them. The best way to show you care about people is to get to know them.
Relationships are the cornerstone of your program or classroom. Relationships are built on a culmination of experiences, words, actions, body language, and time. Never underestimate the power and influence you have on youth.
Looking for practical ideas for connecting with youth in your classroom or program? Check out our newest book, Groups, Troops, Clubs and Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth. It is full of strategies to help educators, coaches and youth workers bring out the best in young people! Check it out and share it with someone else that loves young people!Filed under Educational Resources, Positive Youth Development, Teambuilding & Play with Purpose, Youth Leadership and Youth Power | Comments Off
We work with many schools and organizations who want to embrace a strength-based orientation to youth development and education. But they need someone to come in to describe what that means, what it looks like, and how they can integrate it into their organizational culture. We love doing that! Here is our most popular workshop that gives a 101 type orientation to positive youth development:
Building on Strengths – An Introduction to Positive Youth Development
Workshop description: Our culture likes to fix things, and usually that’s good. But it’s not good to focus on the deficits and challenges of young people. It’s much more productive to focus on their strengths – and build them up from there. In this workshop, we’ll talk about strength and introduce you to the concept and practices of positive youth development and the Developmental Assets. You’ll have time to do a private assessment of your own practices and map out how you can use this approach to nurture youth in your programs.
Length of time: 2 – 2 ½ hours
Interested in knowing more? Contact us at cad@TheAssetEdge.net or 615-262-9676Filed under Organizational Change, Positive Youth Development, Workshops | Comments Off