You for Youth logo
Online Professional Learning and
Technical Assistance for
21st Century Community Learning Centers
  1. Contact Us
  2. Join
  3. Sign In

Navigation

October 7, 2013

It feels great to be a month or so into the fall, when students and staff are in synch with the rhythm of the academic year and are feeling confident about what’s to come. Now that everything is up and running in your program, it may be a good opportunity to take a step back and assess the program’s needs. Sure, things are going well, but they can always be better. What kind of extra boost could the program use?

Use the Determining Program Needs tool from Y4Y’s Strengthening Partnerships module to aid in your reflection. Maybe there’s a need for more community involvement, or perhaps your program should focus on how it’s helping students with special needs. Using the tool, take stock of where improvements could be made and jot down some notes for next steps to follow up on.

By homing in on specific needs, you are setting up your program for a successful year. You will be taking a thoughtful and deliberate approach to program growth and improvement ... and next fall you’ll feel even better!   



September 24, 2013

While staff are taking a step back and handing over the reins to youth when it comes to project-based learning, all projects should still be well thought-out and planned. A project is much more likely to lead to learning gains and be more fun if it is well-planned from the very beginning.

Not sure where to start? Use the Project-Based Learning Project Planner from the Y4Y Design Studio to help you get going. This tool guides you through all of the items that you need to think about to ensure a successful project.  



September 9, 2013

While homework time may be a core component of your program, it may not be a favorite for all students. There are ways, though, to make homework time feel more productive, fun, and engaging. Try out some of these resources on Y4Y to help transform your homework space and time.

• Use the Effective Homework Time Training To Go to train staff in creating an environment and establishing systems that make homework time a positive experience for everyone. Follow the Training Plan to deliver the training without a hitch.

• Ready for details? Get deep into planning your homework space and time using the Afterschool Training Toolkit’s Managing and Organizing the Homework Environment tips.

• Set up a communication system with each student’s classroom teacher using the Homework Sharing Tool. It’ll help keep both of you informed about the student’s progress and challenges.  



September 9, 2013

Along with opportunity, aligning with the school day presents many challenges to staff. However, research has boiled it down to just six core elements that, when implemented, result in effective alignment. Y4Y’s Practitioner Tips is like a cheat-sheet for achieving alignment. Some kernels of wisdom include:

• Use attendance data as an indicator of student interest in program activities

• Schedule time for program staff to plan and prepare for activities

• Create an ongoing process for sharing data with the school

• Staff can learn a lot about students’ interests, learning styles, and needs by talking with family members when they come to pick up their children

Check it out for yourself and decide on some next steps your program can take in achieving improved alignment.  



July 22, 2013

In case you missed it, the U.S. Department of Education has officially unveiled an exciting new guide to Civic Learning and Engagement on the Y4Y portal! Civic learning and engagement affords students the opportunity to make a real difference in the world through collaborative projects that address real-life issues that concern them. Empower your students to be engaged members of their community, and to know that their opinions and ideas matter. Get started with a civic learning project now, and the youth in your program will be learning by doing, while gaining 21st Century skills and becoming good citizens.

You’ll find the new Civic Learning and Engagement content integrated into the Project-Based Learning module, because when it comes to hands-on learning one of the best examples is civic engagement. Come visit the Learn section of the Project-Based Learning module to see how your program can incorporate practical strategies that draw students into becoming more active and involved in their communities, all while gaining academic and 21st century skills.

Get staff on board with the new content by checking out the Trainings To Go and Training Starters related to Civic Learning and Engagement, and get started with Civic Learning and Engagement activities and projects using the specially designed planning and implementation documents in Tools.

Stay tuned for more guidance from the Y4Y team on this exciting topic! In the meantime, if you have any Civic Learning and Engagement examples or ideas you’d like to share, you can post them to the Discussion Boards.