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Showing posts from December, 2012

Finding ways to engage youth in program evaluation

Are you engaging youth in program evaluation? You may be wanting to do so, but having trouble finding a way to do it.

In October, educators from our center and youth workers from several area youth programs embarked on a journey to explore innovative ways to engage youth in program evaluation. The Innovators on Youth Roles in Evaluation Cohort emerged as the laboratory for this exploration. The Innovators began to gather the information about Youth Participatory Evaluation (YPE) from our early meetings and Kim Sabo Flores' presentation that month, Transforming Youth/Adult Relationships through Research and Evaluation.


YPE is a practice that benefits youth, adults, and program. In her blog post, Youth as partners in evaluation - an idea that is catching on, Kate Walker began the discussion on how programs benefit from involving youth in evaluation and research.

In her presentation and book, Youth Participatory Evaluation, Strategies for Engaging Youth People, Kim Sabo Flores furthe…

Collaborations with schools benefit youth

Recently I was part of a school-community partnership group. We were brought together to create a measurement plan for learning objectives set forth by a local school district. The objectives all focused on building 21st Century skills in youth.

There was a heavy emphasis on developing global citizens and cultivating youth interests and talents. Too often these traits are thought of as "soft skills"; however research suggests that soft skills are sometimes the most demanded in the workforce. In fact, National Public Radio ran an article that stated that preschool is one of the best training programs because of the emphasis on soft skills in early childhood. Like preschool teachers, youth workers strive to help youth develop skills that will make them more productive citizens.

Other members of the school-community group were surprised when I said that youth workers think about 21st Century skills all the time. In fact, these are often the goals that drive our program. Their su…

Click activism: Are social media changing civic engagement?

Have social media changed how the youth you know engage in civic activities? Are charities and civic organizations too out-of-touch with today's youth to engage them in their communities?

Recent research suggests that digital citizenship (regular and effective use of the Internet) is associated with civic engagement and participation in democracy. Further, innovative use of social media has become a key factor in engaging youth (as well as adults) in working and supporting the causes they believe in. We've recently seen evidence of this in news accounts about its use in super storm Sandy and political campaigns. The Internet and its social media tools have already, or soon will change the traditional civic and social organizations in our society.

Social media have been shown to powerfully grab our attention. They can dramatically expose us to problems and issues, encourage us to care about them, to want to fix the problem and better our world. For many it can be a life-changi…