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Showing posts from June, 2013

Stories of diversity and inclusion

By Josey Landrieu If you had a chance to tell your diversity and inclusion story, what would you say? What themes would emerge? I am asking this because I am on a team that is putting together a digital media campaign about our efforts to reach new and under-served communities, our engagement with diversity, and how we've overcome barriers. To do this, I want to engage everyone in 4-H and beyond to help us tell our diversity and inclusion story. We are thrilled to have this grant-funded opportunity ; to share a diverse narrative of our work in youth development and we can do so by engaging staff, volunteers, youth, and partners! One of the reasons for sharing a diverse narrative is to overcome the opposite kind -- the "single story" that lumps many people into one, or many cultures into one. The writer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Life is about the journey, not the destination". In youth development we are often reminded of this. We often find oursel

Communications skills for thriving in a global world

By Jennifer Skuza The first step to thriving in a global world may be letting go of the concept of "common sense". Anytime I have said or heard "Use your common sense!" there was a hint of judgment in it. Well, common sense is really cultural sense, common only to those who share a cultural lens, core values and patterns of behavior. Starting with that fundamental insight, there are endless possibilities in how you can work with young people to help them sort out their own viewpoints and those of others. We can guide young people to developing thinking habits that lean toward openness in getting to know new people, experiences and ideas and to create new connections among them. That is one step toward knowing how to thrive in a global world. As you think about your role in preparing young people with a global mindset of cultural understanding, here are a few design ideas to consider in your programs: Enrich program curriculum with robust educational mater

Citizen science, youth engagement and authentic inquiry

By Pamela Larson Nippolt What are the best ways to engage youth and adults in authentic scientific inquiry? We are exploring this question with our Driven to Discover: Citizen Science project. Public participation in science, known as citizen science, is when citizens collect and report data, using specified methods, to contribute to scientific research. In our Driven to Discover project, research teams made up of youth and adult citizen scientists are monitoring Monarch butterfly larvae, birds, and water quality, then conducting investigations. This five-year project is now entering its fourth summer. Through it, we are designing a model and curriculum to prepare and support adults - content experts, youth leaders, parents. Their reasons for participation vary -- to volunteer, to extend their teaching, to deepen youth programs in nature settings, to learn through inquiry with youth. Spring is a busy time for this project. A new group of adults has just completed a three-day w