April 20, 2020
There’s no shame in the comfort of sameness. The desire to join others who have similar experiences and interests is natural. That’s why there are groups and clubs dedicated to everything from genealogy to fly fishing to Bigfoot. It’s not an issue unless it keeps you from welcoming new people and experiences into your flock. The trick is to realize you have something in common with every person you meet.
In 21st CCLC programs, no matter how diverse your staff, you all have one thing in common: a desire to serve children, youth and families. Y4Y’s new Creating a Positive Learning Environment course helps you define your shared goals and create a place where everyone — students, families, partners and staff — feels welcome, respected, appreciated and engaged. That kind of program environment enables your staff and students to do their best work, regardless of their diverse interests and backgrounds.
Respecting individuality while pursuing common goals is a time-honored way to value diversity while building community. For example, organizers of Multiracial Heritage Week dedicate a week each June to “a celebration for all people” that “highlights our similarities, not our differences.” If your staff uses Y4Y’s Building Student/Educator Interests Questionnaire, you’ll see ways students are alike and ways they’re different. The new Y4Y course can help your staff create a positive learning environment where birds of all feathers can flock together to help one another soar.