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Showing posts from January, 2016

One step at a time to intentional program design

By Nancy Hegland

“You don’t climb mountains without a team, you don’t climb mountains without being fit, you don’t climb mountains without being prepared and you don’t climb mountains without balancing the risks and rewards. And you never climb a mountain on accident – it has to be intentional”.  Mark Udall, former U.S. Senator from Colorado, now working with Outward Bound.

Turning the calendar to 2016 causes me to reflect on the past year and make efforts to do some things better and with more intentionality.

Mentoring young people to lead

By Brian McNeill

Mentoring from a caring adult can make a huge difference to a young person’s development as a future leader. The lucky ones among us can point to a time when a piano teacher, someone in church, neighbor or teacher took the trouble to give us guidance and pass along some leadership skills. These “relational role models” are critical to developing leadership skills, particularly during adolescence.

I benefited from the mentorship of a variety of adults as a young person, and I’m now on the Minnesota 4-H citizenship and leadership team. Our county ambassador program engages youth in leadership in their local areas. Our team includes 4-H county program coordinator and an adult volunteer, and we hope to engage more leadership mentors to work with the ambassadors.
This is not just a nice thing to do. Studies show that humans learn from good role models. The National Resource Center for Youth Development  encourages youth to be involved in programs fostering positive leaders…

The 10 essential elements of cross-age teaching

By Amber Shanahan

For more than 30 years, Youth Teaching Youth has been a prime example of a cross-age teaching program. In cross-age teaching, teens are not just assisting an adult teacher or informally sharing experiences,but facilitating an entire learning experience by teaching curriculum and fully managing a group of younger peers. Cross-age teaching can also enhance social and emotional learning for both teacher and learner.

Youth workers often ask those of us on the 4-H YTY team how they might start a cross-age teaching program of their own. Chances are, your program is already infusing some components, but there are 10 essential elements you need to define in order to do this well.

1. Dedicated Adults Who Support Teens

Strong and consistent support from a dedicated adult staff member or volunteer ensures that teens are fully engaged while teaching (doing), reflecting, and applying and provides safety and continuity.

2. Active Teen Recruitment

The 4-H YTY program partners with lo…