October 2, 2020
DC Trainers Network Skillshare – Youth Work

1.    Introduction (30) – Lauren and Cathy

a.    Names, PGPs
b.    Youth / Adult / Etc.: Identify where you’re at
c.    Youth/Adult T Chart

i.    Each person should share assumptions, expectations about Youth and Adults

d.    Goals

i.    Understand adultism (what makes working with youth different? adultism)
ii.    Activity bank and ideas for incorporating youth participation and working WITH youth

2.    Adultism (30) – Cathy

a.    Discuss youth/adult chart

i.    Key points:

1.    Blur the lines of adulthood and childhood
2.    Expectations for youth in society to move to adulthood without much guidance around it, and are never trainer or taught how to be youth, only adults. Moved along into adulthood.
3.    Transition into adulthood is often pretty shoddy, job skills, taking on responsibility, often depend on family to take care of this (and essentially, passing down privilege or lack of)
4.    Tie in to Capitalism as the system of power (youth and old people are devalued because they do not work or are not seen as the ideal worker)
5.    This sets us up to think about adultism – how society devalues youth, how adults exert power over youth and devalue youth experiences

b.    Adultism Statements (Raise a hand / move forward, move back / stand up, sit down)

i.    The statements give a more concrete example of adultism
ii.    Statements:

1.    When are you going to grow up?
2.    What do you know? You haven’t experienced anything! / You’re just a child.
3.    “You’re so smart for your age” / “You’re so mature for your age!”
4.    You are too old for that!
5.    You’re not old enough.
6.    Oh, it’s only puppy love
7.    Act your age
8.    Adults know best.
9.    It’s just a stage. You’ll outgrow it.
10.    You’re being childish / You’re behaving like children
11.    Youth these days have no sense of discipline.
12.    OMG you work with teenagers? I can’t stand kids.

c.    Share personal experiences (Popcorn)

i.    Which statements resonated?
ii.    What feelings did the statements bring up anything for you?
iii.    How do your assumptions about youth manifest themselves? How does your adultism manifest itself when you think about working or actually work with youth
iv.    Discuss in a big group

d.    Transition: One way to combat adultism is to guide youth through the developmental process in a way that encourages their engagement and investment in themselves, their community, their project, their peers. Some of that is your direct interaction with youth and being conscious of your attitude and prejudices. It’s also important to build in structures for youth participation into your agendas, lesson plans, projects, programs.

3.    Activities – Building a Structure for youth participation (45 min) – Lauren

SUMMARY: Write out the five kinds of youth participation on flip chart paper. We will break up the participants into groups by reading the scenarios and they will self-select their groups. The groups will brainstorm activities and structures (in general, things they can do) that apply to the five different kinds of youth participation, and write these on post-its. After time is up, post-its will be placed on the big flip charts, and participants do a museum walk. Clarify any confusion about activities, and facilitators will comment on how these activities may vary based on the context.


a.    Scenarios
b.    Five Kinds of Youth Participation

i.    Choosing
ii.    Decision Making
iii.    Planning
iv.    Assessing
v.    Communicating

Scenarios :
c.    Split up into groups (by scenario) (5 min)

i.    4-6 people per group

d.    Group Brainstorm (15 min)

i.    Groups should brainstorm to think about how to structure their meeting/agenda/program/training to encourage youth participation and youth leadership (perhaps more over the long term). Use the five kinds of youth participation to guide your brainstorm. Write ideas separately on post-it notes.
ii.    Discussion questions for your group (if you have time)

1.    How would this be different if you were working with a different age group? 

2.    Different contexts? (school, youth program, group home, forced vs. voluntary participation)

e.    Museum Walk (10 min)

i.    Groups can put up their post-its on the corresponding flip charts. Everyone does a museum walk.

f.    Group Discussion – in a circle (15 min)

i.    Clarifying Questions
ii.    Facilitators comment on how these activities are different based on context and participants.

4.    Closing (15 min) – Lauren and Cathy

a.    Round Robin take away – What is one thing you are taking away?
b.    Additional handouts

i.    Ladder of youth participation
ii.    5 kinds of youth participation

Call for Submissions
Do you have any programs, events, trainings, or lessons you are planning for youth? Do you want the trainers network’s help in brainstorming ideas? Send us a scenario or a challenge that you have related to working with youth! Please be sure to include contextual information, such as age group and an objective and/or summary of the group or situation.

Youth Detention Groups Home – Lauren
You work for a group home in NE that houses 15 youth between the ages of 15-19 who have been court mandated to participate in the full-time live-in program at the home for their first 3 months upon release from juvenile detention.  The home offers a wide range of  programming including group counseling, mentoring, career skills, college prep, and extra-curricular activities. In hopes of decreasing the repeat-offender rate, the home has given the staff flexibility in creating/changing programming to meet the group’s needs. Your job is to help engage the youth in a way that encourages them to become more invested in the programming and ultimately, their own futures. 

After School program for elementary students – Lauren
You have recently been hired to join a team of facilitators for a DCPS after school program for elementary-age students.  The program runs 3 days a week from 3:15pm – 6:00pm.  You’ll be working with the arts program, which aims to improve reading and writing skills by teaching children through hip-hop (marketed as “Rap 101”). At the end of each quarter, your group will have written a mini mixtape of original songs that will be performed at the quarterly all-school assembly – this is usually the highlight of the assembly and something the entire school looks forward to. Students enrolled in the after school program have the opportunity to pick between your program and several others that are happening at the same time.  Although all of the students attending your program have chosen to be there, they have recently hired you to as an additional support staff to address some behavioral issues that have been interrupting the group’s progress.  The main challenge is students not following directions / not paying attention.  What can you do to help get things back on track?

Teen Moms – Organizing Childcare in their high school –
You work for an organization that hosts support groups and provides services for teen mothers and pregnant teens. As a facilitator of one of the support groups you have consistently heard from the participants that finding childcare is one of their largest challenges in staying in or returning to school. Your organization has started to think about organizing for childcare in local high schools, and they’ve suggested that you form a youth / client advisory council that will help you in putting together this campaign. You are in charge of outreach and recruitment for the council and for working with the council to plan this potential campaign.

Language Accessibility in middle schoolers  –

You are a teacher in the English Language Learner program in a middle school. You have a class of 30 that you work with all day. You heard that a local campaign on language accessibility in schools is collecting video testimonials. It sounds like a great project for your students to learn about media and build their competencies in public speaking while sharing their experiences. How can you engage your students in the process of creating this video or videos?

School Closing storytelling training–
Your group has been approached by a group of activists organizing against local school closings. They are seeking a speak out training and have asked you to design something to help these folks feel prepared to share their stories with the media to advance the larger campaign. The group is made of 25 people and a mix of teachers, high schoolers, and parents. The training is for 3 hours. One of the organizers had been planning on organizing childcare for the event, but one of the parents pointed out that younger children speaking out would be an effective tool for the campaign. In addition to the 25 high schoolers and adults, you now have four 3th-7th graders

Teachers – planning a service project  field trip –  Cathy
You are a science teacher or teaching assistant at a local school. New to this year’s curriculum is a requirement to teach students about an environmental issue that ties back to what students are learning in class, and have them conduct a service project related to that issue. You hope to find opportunities to integrate youth leadership and greater youth participation (and therefore investment) in the project.

Prep Work
Youth/Adult t-chart
5 Types of Youth Participation & Descriptions