Loosening the Evaluation Stranglehold

Every day, young people around the world—including Pittsburgh and all of Allegheny County—struggle to connect in meaningful ways to the world around them. They’re yanked on and dragged around by the adults in the lives, being sent to school, dropped off in after school programs, made to come to dinner, forced to kiss their greatContinue reading “Loosening the Evaluation Stranglehold”

10 Steps to Planning Programs With Youth

Planning youth programs for children and youth is tricky. Stuck without enough time to plan or strict guidelines for curriculum delivery, youth program workers can feel powerless over what they do with the young people they serve. In my own experience working in the field for more than a decade, I had this experience continually.Continue reading “10 Steps to Planning Programs With Youth”

Neoliberalism in Youth Programs

Democracy is a practical, hands-on approach to operating our society. Everyday, every young person can contribute to the health and well-being of themselves, their families, their neighborhoods, the nation, and the world. That’s the power of democracy today: More than ever before, it’s changing the world. But there are forces trying to undo democracy. RightContinue reading “Neoliberalism in Youth Programs”

Freechild Project Youth-Driven Programming Guide

NOW AVAILABLE on AMAZON.COM: The Freechild Project Youth-Driven Programming Guide   “This guide is an introduction to youth-driven programming for nonprofits, government agencies, and other youth-serving organizations. The booklet gives a definition and compares approaches, and then provides planning tools, evaluations and assessments, and more. It includes the Ladder of Youth Voice, rubrics for assessingContinue reading “Freechild Project Youth-Driven Programming Guide”

Puddles of Youth Engagement

Changing our minds is necessary for successful youth engagement in schools and communities. Coming to understand the absolute dire necessity for youth engagement and understanding the inherent ethical demands therein is essential for everyone. This is particularly true for adults who work with and for young people everyday, including parents, teachers, youth workers, politicians, andContinue reading “Puddles of Youth Engagement”

Youth On A Pedestal

There’s a special place where young people are placed in stark contrast to their roles in our daily lives. Typically, young people are segregated from adults, compelled to follow rules and laws they didn’t make, and shown what to do with themselves through advertising, education, family life, and community norms. Nowhere along the way areContinue reading “Youth On A Pedestal”

Convenient or Inconvenient Youth Voice

Youth Voice is being thrown around these days as something special, unique, and never wrong. The simple fact is that while all children and youth are powerful beyond measure and important beyond words, Youth Voice is nothing that should be romanticized or pedestaled. It should be integrated, normalized, and mainstreamed, but not worshiped or seenContinue reading “Convenient or Inconvenient Youth Voice”

Youth Engagement Training

CommonAction’s Adam Fletcher facilitating youth at a conference in spring 2012. CommonAction is excited to announce that we’re available across the US and Canada for training on youth engagement starting Fall 2012! Just over a decade ago I started training youth workers, organization leaders, teachers, government workers, and many other folks on youth engagement. ThisContinue reading “Youth Engagement Training”

Types of Youth Experiences

Check out The Freechild Project page on Resources for Adults at http://freechild.org/adults.htm Adults often think all the different ways we listen to youth voice equal to youth engagement. I believe youth voice is not the same as youth engagement. Young people can be engaged through youth voice experiences, and many others. These types of youth experiencesContinue reading “Types of Youth Experiences”