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Showing posts from May, 2018

Fear of frying: Why are youth shy to be creative in the kitchen?

By Carrie Ann Olson

Cooking is healthy, so why are Americans cooking less than they used to? Maybe it’s because they are afraid to try.

For me, mixing things together to come up with something new is exciting and rewarding. But my daughter recently told me that her junior high family consumer science classmates are afraid to try cooking because it might not turn out perfect. This is a common fear for adolescents. But a youth development program should help them to develop good decision making skills.

My favorite cooking activities for youth incorporate a cook-off.  In team cook-offs, youth have to work together to make decisions. There’s no right or wrong answer; it’s a creative, learn-by-doing process that sometimes turns out better than other times.
Here are some things to tryFood Insight has released a series of “Build Your Own” infographic recipes. Each one offers a simple recipe, with the option for variation. The series has six infographics ranging from oatmeal or a snack dip to …

Gendered phrases make unsafe spaces

By Joseph Rand

It’s nice to say you’re an ally to marginalized groups, but what actions are you taking to create change? “Ally” is a verb, and requires action. So if you want to be an ally for youth, you have to speak up!

I was reminded of this by a speaker at the Ohio 4-H LGBTQ+ Summit recently. How are you making marginalized groups like LGBTQ+ youth and families feel included? One simple way is through inclusive language.

The Human Rights Campaign reports that 92% of LGBT youth say they hear negative messages about being LGBT; the top sources are school, the internet, and peers. GLSEN reports that that rate is higher for rural and suburban students than it is for urban students.

We as youth development professionals must ensure that out-of-school-time spaces are safe and inclusive. Here are four actions you can take to be an ally.
Think of ways to separate groups or label activities other than than boys and girls Reinforcing this binary can be damaging to youth who are exploring gen…

Take action with action learning

By Amber Shanahan

If you could have 14 colleagues working alongside you to help you meet your goals, that would be pretty great, right? And what if they were helping you to solve the most important issues in your field? That would be greater still, right?

Fifteen Minnesota 4-H program coordinators did just that in a recently completed Youth Development Learn and Lead (YDLL) cohort. They networked, worked as a team, and shared positive youth development research and best practices. Over the eight-month period, they took part in an Action Learning Project (ALP), a practical assignment to solve issues, create support or improve programs. In ALP, participants identify a topic or concern relevant to their community and work in small groups to share progress, reflect and gain perspective.