Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Class & Child-Rearing

This article was astounding. The study was incredible, and the situations hit close to home. It also helped to view the differences in how parents rear their children according to class. The stress on self-direction and how it helps develop a healthy sense of decision making and personal choice and power in youth was probably the best part of the article. It was similar to the article we read 'Where Youth Hold the Power' and they discussed allowing youth the opportunity to choose as well as be involved. It's interesting how a parent who is poor, doesn't necessarily see leisure time as a moment for education. I'm not a parent but this is certainly something to keep in mind when raising my own children. "...we find abundant evidence that in the day-to-day business of childrearing, middle-class parents tend to stress the importance of self-direction" So it's clear that the more educated the parent is, the more money they make, the more aware they are of self direction and the benefits it can have with youth. The article went so far as to say that the jobs are what helps to mediate the relationship between parents and their children. I thought this was incredible because it shows that the parent sort of passes on what is expected of them. For example, the middle class child would provide alternatives to an order, while the poorer child would simply get upset, and accept the order. I think in lower paying jobs, it's not an option to ask why and you just do what's asked of you, while with higher paying jobs, you're encouraged to express yourself and ask questions. I'm simply drawing a parallel to my work at the mall and my work at the school I work at. While taking orders at both jobs, the job at school is a little more receptive to my skepticism than my job at the mall. This is important to take into consideration in our work as Youth Workers because we can sort of fill in the gap and open the door for more choices and self-direction from students.

Young Voices & Internet Outlets for Youth

This was the most challenging blog for me, I wanted to find a website that involved students and was a space where they could express themselves about issues in the community. I found that at http://www.providencestudentunion.org/blog/. This blog is a part of the incredible Providence Student Union, who has done amazing work involving youth in the community and helping them to get involved in the decisions and issues they're being faced with daily. This article talks about the effort of youth and others who would be affected by the closing of Alvarez High School and how their efforts stopped the school from being closed.  http://www.wpri.com/news/local/mcgowan/dozens-protest-proposed-closure-of-alvarez-high-school 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

YD Related Event- Intro to Positive Youth Development Training

One of the Youth Development related events I attended was a training at The Hub. My mentor wanted to train myself, herself, and another member of the team at The Hub on how to train other people on how to give positive Youth Development. This was incredibly helpful for my current daily work at Highlander, and even more useful for myself in the future. The information given is crucial to all of our work with youth. We spent time speaking about the Positive Youth Development Pyramid: which basically explains what is needed for youth to receive positive youth development.
We talked about having people who are going to work with youth learning to give a warm-up based upon what is needed in the environment you're in. This should be based upon if you need a quiet environment or an upbeat environment. All warm-ups should be deliberate, but doesn't have to have anything to do with the topic to be taught. Also I thought it was helpful to know that we should give specific feedback to youth: rather than "Great Job Martha!" it should be "Wow Martha, you worked so hard on that project, it's great to see that  you got a good grade on it".  It's effective and shows that we are paying attention. Also the training helped me realize that we need to give more leadership roles rather than being afraid to give the reigns--so to speak to the youth to control. Everything in the training taught us to be conscious of space and every detail so that we can give quality youth development.
This was a very helpful event to attend because I got to get in touch with my own programming outside of my internship, and I also felt that this was opening the door for me to co-facilitate future trainings at The Hub during my internship, this is extremely exciting, because I've been interested in the behind the scenes aspects of after school. 

YD related-event *Pasta for a Cause*

I must admit I panicked when I heard we had to find two Youth Development related events to attend before the semester ended. However, finding my second event was easier than the first (which was a training...I'll post that later, but this event was a little more fun). For those that are unaware I've been an After School Coordinator at Highlander Charter School for 5 years, and the current 5th and 6th graders (who I've literally watch grow up) managed to raise food for the less fortunate for the Thanksgiving Holiday, and provided a pasta dinner to help raise more food and celebrate their success. This project was started by some of my co-workers and being that I work with the younger grades, I only seen students enter my classroom to collect cans but I had no idea what the big project was. I literally felt tears coming to my eyes while at this event, because these children are really concerned with the problems in their community and although they didn't initially like the idea of the project they came together and made this dinner a huge success. They served pasta to entire families, passed out paper cups, called tables get in line, ran raffles, collected donations and helped organize and clean up after the event finished. It was incredible and by far the most rewarding Youth Development event I've ever been to, because it showed youth being involved and aware of issues in their community and that's something I don't get during trainings. This was such a beautiful event, I'm so proud of them.