How to Work With Kids and Not Be Mean
When young people are comfortable, unafraid and engaged there is less need for you to impose order. This workshop will explore ways to create program environments where children experience mutual respect, empowerment and excitement for learning. We will discuss discipline strategies based on solutions instead of punishment, encouragement instead of fear.
Child and Youth Development
Understanding The Ages and Stages
In order to work effectively with youth, we need a basic understanding of how they develop, their needs, and their assets. This workshop summarizes key research on child and youth development with a focus on how to create programs that are appropriate for the young people you work with.
How to Respond Effectively to Challenging Behavior
When working with young people, effective group management is one of the most important skills to master. In this workshop, you will learn the key elements of effective group management, including the creative use of rules, giving participants interesting roles, and group activities that help students interact more and increase teamwork. You will also learn to help students communicate more effectively when things don’t go their way.
How to Help Young People Develop Their Own Solutions
This workshop will show afterschool staff how to help young people see that they have many options for their own behavior, even in stressful situations. Participants will explore and practice ways they can help young people learn to express their feelings clearly and non-violently and make positive choices for how they act.
What’s With the Attitude?
How to Successfully Deal With “Difficult” People
One of the key skills for an educator or program director is building positive relationships. However, sometimes people don’t want to play nice. In this workshop, we will explore strategies for dealing with the occasionally challenging behavior of colleagues, parents, and other key afterschool stakeholders.
How to Use Team Games to Build Community Among Staff and Youth
Team building games are great ways to create a positive spirit in your group. They can also be used to energize and focus the group and burn off stress. We will discuss and explore different types of energizers including icebreakers, communication and team building activities, and getting to know each other activities.
Recruitment and Retention
How to Keep Middle School and High School Youth Engaged
This workshop will draw from the four “B’s” of recruiting and retaining high school youth: be real, be yourself, be respectful, and build informal relationships. In addition to the four “B’s,” the workshop will provide specific strategies that keep youth coming back to your program.
How to Facilitate Engaging Discussions and Activities
Having strong facilitation skills is a key component of running an engaging youth program. In this workshop, participants will learn facilitation techniques that maximize the use of their skills and varied settings and also learn strategies to help youth stay motivated to learn. Participants will come up with facilitation strategies that will enhance the workshop they are developing and practice a few strategies in front of their peers.
Advanced Facilitation Skills
How to Facilitate Groups with an Equity Lens
This training is designed to build on your skills and experience as a trainer, and bring your facilitation skills to the next level, ensuring all your participants are engaged and understood. We recommend that you participate in the Facilitation Skills session prior to attending this session.
How to Develop Effective Presentation Skills
Speaking in public is one of the greatest and most common fears people identify when asked! Having the self-confidence to master this fear is an important skill for anyone wanting to develop leadership skills or to increase self-confidence. Through a series of interactive activities, participants in this workshop will learn basic skills and strategies associated with public speaking, including tactics for managing nervousness, and will have opportunities to practice these skills in a safe and supportive environment.
Effective Staff Supervision Strategies
How to Support and Develop Adults Who Work With Kids
When new or inexperienced staff join our program’s team, it is important to help them develop the skills they need to work effectively with young people. This workshop supports supervisors and others to utilize strength-based positive coaching strategies that help staff tackle areas of improvement and achieve ongoing success.
Involving Youth In Decision-Making
How to Develop Opportunities for Meaningful Youth Input
Every young person brings unique skills, talents, and leadership potential to your program. By engaging youth in meaningful leadership opportunities, educators can foster healthier learning environments while instilling the confidence youth need to become active citizens in their schools and communities. This workshop will help educators learn how to resist the urge to overrule decisions made by young people, react constructively when young people make “mistakes,” and create an environment that fosters the capacity of youth for constructive decision-making.
How to Develop Dynamic Program Plans and Theme-Based Curricula
This workshop goes in depth into the curriculum development process. Participants will learn how to develop new concepts for program curricula and organize existing lesson into content specific themes. Staff will also understand how they can connect these activities to the overall work and mission of their organizations.
How to Put Young People in the Lead
Youth development research has shown that project-based learning fosters critical thinking, positive attitudes toward school, and increased civic engagement. This workshop will present tools and strategies to help programs develop youth-led project-based learning initiatives that will help youth acquire important academic and life skills. Participants will leave with concrete strategies for planning and carrying out youth-led projects, including techniques for ongoing reflection and project assessment.
Interactive Lesson Planning
How to Develop Activities that Engage Youth and Staff
Writing clear and engaging activity plans can be difficult and confusing for many afterschool staff. This workshop will help staff develop lesson plans that have clear learning goals and are inclusive of staff’s and young people’s diverse talents, backgrounds, and interests.
Social Justice Programming
How to Engage Older Youth Through Social Justice-Based Programming
All young people have the capacity to be change agents in society. The Bridging Multiple Worlds Competencies create engaging, affirming environments that help all young people to thrive and learn how to make a difference in the world. This workshop explores these social justice-based competencies and ways in which programs can help them come to life.
Working with LGBTQ and Gender Non-Conforming Youth
How to Support and Validate LGBTQ and Gender Non-Conforming Identities
This half-day workshop is designed for an audience seeking to broaden their cultural competency in working with LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth. Gain a basic understanding of current LGBTQ language and terminology, more awareness and understanding of challenges facing LGBTQ youth and stronger cultural competency in working with the LGBTQ community. This session offers take-away tools to increase inclusivity and safety and support of LGBTQ youth at your home organizations and programs.
Working with Immigrant Children,Youth, and Families
Understanding the Immigration Experience
Understanding the complexity and diversity of the immigrant experience is a critical step in supporting the needs of immigrant youth and their families. Drawing upon The New Americans, a PBS mini-series that follows a diverse group of immigrant and refugee families through their journeys from their homelands to the U.S., participants in this workshop identify strategies to better meet the needs of immigrant youth in their programs.
Equity and Diversity Institute
How to Address Equity and Diversity in Youth Programs
Trainings on this topic offer youth workers and program leaders an overview of common diversity and equity issues. We create a supportive space to reflect on our own backgrounds and the resources, challenges and opportunities they provide to our work; identify individual and community issues shaping the lives and needs of the young people we serve; learn about promising strategies for supporting young people’s social, cultural, and cross-cultural development, and for creating inclusive and responsive programming; and assess the strengths and gaps in our programs’ equity and diversity efforts.