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Showing posts from January, 2018

Re-imagining youth work through an equity lens

By Kate Walker The Extension Center for Youth Development's next public symposium series will focus on operationalizing equity in Minnesota's youth-serving organizations. In other words, making equity actionable. By equity, we mean promoting just and fair inclusion and creating conditions in which all young people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. For us, equity is everyone having what they need to be successful.

When it comes to after-school programs, more is better

By Nancy Hegland Recently I've been in a book study group with colleagues that has reminded me why extracurricular programs are critical for youth development. GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth offers a lot of insight. One chapter says that extracurricular programs have positive effects on a student's life generally. When it comes to school, participating in extracurricular activities make them more likely to have better grades, higher self-esteem and less likely to have risky behaviors. In addition, the longer youth are involved in extracurricular programs and the more hours per week they spend in that activity, the better the outcomes. Why? Caring adults offer supportive and demanding guidance. This positive role model complements the parents’ roles and allows youth to know that others care about them and their success. Extracurricular programs are designed to cultivate grit – interest, practice, purpose, and hope. Youth feel challenge

Youth learning in nature - a mutually beneficial relationship

By Rebecca Meyer In the last decade, a lot of attention has been paid to how young people benefit from connecting with nature. One of the main benefits is a sense of well being. A growing body of research demonstrates that exposure to natural spaces – everything from parks to open countryside to gardens and other greenspace – is good for health. What's less well known is that nature benefits from this connection, too.