The Learning Process
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Positive Youth Development

What is Positive Youth Development?
      Positive Youth Development (PYD) refers to intentional efforts of young adults, adults, community organizations, government agencies, and schools to provide positive opportunities to learn life skills.

      One can define youth development as:

"...the ongoing growth process in which all youth are engaged in attempting to
(1) meet their basic personal and social needs to be safe, feel cared for, be valued,
 be useful, and be spiritually grounded, and (2) to build skills and competencies
that allow them to function and contribute in their daily lives." 
(Pittman, 1993, p. 8)
      Programs to develop opportunities for pre-teen and teenages does not need to be a highly sophisticated and complicated process. The key is the people, programs, institutions, and systems that support and provide the opportunities so they can empower themselves. This requires a range of opportunities that appeals to individual male and female clients that come in all ages, shapes, and sizes.
  • An adult who volunteers time to mentor or tutor a young person;
  • A school that partners with community-based organizations to keep its doors open until 10 pm and provide all youth a safe, supervised place to be with homework support, activities, physical and mental health services;
  • A leadership development program that offers rival gang members neutral territory where they can relate to one another as individuals and build skills;
  • A city government that engages youth in the policy making process through youth councils and youth positions in government departments;
  • A religious institution that provides youth access to computers and the necessary training; and
  • A local business which employs youth in meaningful and relevant work.

      The following practices shouldd be observerable in any PDY program:

Support: Motivational, emotional and strategic concepts for being sucessful in life. These supports can take different forms, but they must be affirming, respectful, and ongoing. The supports are more powerful when expressed by people they respect and indeally are involved in the lives of young people.

Opportunities: Young people to learn how to act like adults so they can explore the world with committing a major "screwup". It is important that they have the opportunity to test ideas, behaviors, and attempt to fill different types of adult roles. Like adults, emerging adults learn and retain life lessons through active participation that occurs in settings and situations that can not be reheased.

Quality services: Education, health, employment, and the juvenile justice system can provide life lessons:
  1. Relevant instruction and information,
  2. Challenging opportunities to express oneself, to contribute, to take on new roles, and be part of a group,
  3. Supportive adults and peers who provide respect, high standards and expectations, guidance and affirmation to young people.
Real Life Parenting Experiences
       Children growing up with multiple siblings have a different interaction with their parents then an only child. The same can be said about the family finances, occupations of one or both parents, if they attended college, and the goals and aspirations they communicated with their children.

       Nurturing children generally is acquired from parents and how they treated each other. Sometimes the example is negative and their kids vow not to make the same mistakes.

      Childhood is a formative time that when combined with the mixture of hormones, peer pressure, and energy make it a volatile time for some individuals. A youth program can help them to focus on steps they should take to become responsible and ultimately take complete control over their life.

      A PYD must develop an outline of personal outcomes and goals, plus the steps to convert dreams into reality. The leaders of the program need to define how success is measured.  Each individual must identify their personal goals and clearly articulate the goals that is your ultimate target.

Promoting Alabama Youth Development

       The Promoting Alabama Youth Development (PAYD) program is designed to enhance adolescents' personal and social competencies in order to strengthen their abilities to anticipate and cope with day-to-day problems, make good life choices, and create positive alternatives for their futures.

       The program consists of eight basic modules. Each module can be expanded to include additional learning experiences for each area covered.

Communication

Module 1

Conflict Management

Module 2

Self-Knowledge

Module 3

Goal Setting and Planning

Module 4

Control and Responsibility

Module 5


Problem Anticipation

Module 6


Making Better Choices

Module 7


Creating alternatives

Module 8


The game board for the Game of Real Life (see Module 4) is now avaliable for
purchase. If you are interested, contact Dr. Jennifer Kerpelman

334-844-4149
jennifer.kerpelman@auburn.edu

References:

The Institute for Youth Development  IYD is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that promotes a comprehensive risk avoidance message to youth.

Youth Development Program  Top Q&A For: Youth Development Program How to Start a Youth Development Program? In April 1999, I was honored with being chosen by a local non-profit agency to become a youth development specialist. I was chosen because of my social work and teaching experience.

Keys to Quality Youth Development  A planning guide for creating positive youth development programs. Covers eight key elements and presents examples, desired outcomes and practices.

Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Program Development
Athlete Development
Skill Development
How We Learn
Stages of Learning
Parent-Teen Relationships
Youth Development
Stages of Skill Development
Stages of Figure Skating Skill Development
Long Term Athlete Development Framework
Techniques of Sports Skills
Biomechanics
Principles of Motor Skill Mechanics
Newton's Laws of Motion
Athlete Training Principles
Being Successful in Sports
Age Appropriate Sports Training
Effect of Learning Environment
Essential Feedback

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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