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September 8, 2014

The new Literacy module was designed with the needs of your program’s youth foremost in mind. It helps you explore how crucial literacy is to learning and suggests how you can incorporate literacy activities into your programs in ways you may not have considered before. 

For example, after you learn about the Five Components of Reading and about the Six Developmental Stages of Reading in the Introduction to Literacy, you can choose from a variety of tools to put these ideas into practice.

One such tool is the BDA Lesson Planner, which will assist you in the fifth component of reading, Comprehension. The lesson planner guides you through the steps necessary to help your students think about what they are about to read “before” they start, to read actively “during” the exercise, and to summarize and synthesize what they read “after” they finish.  BDA – Before, During, After.

In addition to the lesson planner you’ll also find a BDA Training Starter, and even a completed Sample BDA Lesson to help you create your own. Take a look at the new Literacy module today and see what ideas you can find to help support and enhance the literacy skills of the youth in your programs.



March 24, 2014

Last month we were proud to announce in this space the release of new content on the Y4Y portal pertaining to drug and alcohol prevention resources for your program staff. The Department of Education partnered with the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in the Executive Office of the President to guide the creation of this new content.

A vast amount of information is now available from the Tools page, including links to many excellent websites that contain information, definitions, statistics, trainings, and activities to help your staff learn about and address this sensitive subject with our youth. Just click the link in the sidebar to access the Drug and Alcohol Prevention resources.

For example, you can access the Above the Influence website where among many other things you can find a comprehensive list of almost two dozen substances that your youth may be encountering. Some of the substances on the list may have familiar sounding names, but others may be less well known to you: things like bath salts, GHB, and salvia, among others. Along with detailed descriptions of each substance, its risks and effects, you’ll also learn about the nicknames many drugs have.



December 9, 2013

It’s that time when it seems everyone is looking back over the past year and composing their Top Ten lists for 2013 – books, movies, songs, even best and worst dressed lists! Here at Y4Y we’d like to take this opportunity to look at the top ten most downloaded resources from our Tools section.

As you know the possibilities run the gamut from checklists to training starters, from diagrams to worksheets, and they could span any of our five major topic areas and beyond. So without further ado, here they are: Y4Y’s Top Ten Most Downloaded Tools of 2013!

1. Training Guide and Template 
2. Project Planner
3. Core Elements Diagram
4. 21st Century Skills in Action
5. Homework Contract
6. Homework Sharing Tool
7. Practitioner Tips 
8. Project-Based Learning Diagram
9. Alignment Strategies Worksheet
10. STEM Vocabulary Builder

If you see any of your favorites on there – congratulations, you helped them make the list! If you want to investigate any of them further just click on the links above or explore the Tools section on Y4Y, where you’ll find all these and more – over 150 total! If you need a helping hand finding anything, remember you can type a phrase into the Search field at the top of any page for quick and easy access.  



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.