Youth Today: The Power of Us Comes From Fully Being Us and Fully Seeing Them

The Power of Us Survey by the American Institutes for Research is slated to close at the end of March. This rigorously-designed national youth workforce survey will give us the quality of data needed to better understand the depth and breadth of staff shortages and diversification challenges across a wide range of youth serving fields.   Equally […]

Youth Today: Adults Need Calming Rooms, Too

Each month, when I sit down to write my Remix Column, I scan the last month of Youth Today news stories. I was pleased when the story at the top of the page was Zen Dens, Peace Rooms, Chill-Out Spaces. Brian Rinker’s story carefully documents how schools and out-of-school time programs are creating staffed, voluntary sanctuaries where any student can decide to go to cool down or recalibrate before returning to class.

Youth Today: The Value of Unbounded Resources and Relationships

It’s hard to find an educator — whether based in a school or a community — who doesn’t agree that resources and relationships are critical to youth success. Research clearly shows that more is better—– both in terms of number and diversity — so long as the inputs are positive. But who defines positive? UNBOUNDED […]

Youth Today: Taking police out of schools — different paths, same lessons

I’m not a school safety specialist. But I was struck by the juxtaposition of two recent stories regarding presence of sworn police officers — often called school resource officers or SROs — in two different districts.  In Madison, Wisconsin, the school board unanimously voted to end its contract with the police department following the murder […]

Youth Today: Fully Prepared Doesn’t Require Being Problem-Free, Just Problem-Resilient

“Problem-free isn’t fully prepared” is the slogan I am most known for.  It’s even quoted in the National Research Council’s 2002 research study, Community Programs to Promote Youth Development. This report, affectionately dubbed “The Blue Book” by youth workers, affirmed the value of asset-based positive youth development approaches as complements to (and perhaps even substitutes for) […]

Youth Today: Handle with Care

I continue to be impressed with the simplicity and power of Handle with Care, a partnership between law enforcement, schools and mental health providers that was created to ensure that children exposed to trauma in their home, school or community get quick support.   The program allows first responders to send “handle with care” notes to […]

Youth Today: Caught and Taught

Out-of-school Time Programs Add Social and Emotional Instruction The facts in Brian Rinker’s recent Youth Today story Pandemic pushes afterschool programs to add social-emotional learning rang true. Out-of-school time program staff are seeing an uptick in behavioral challenges that require staff to have more specific tools, practices and referral options. He writes: “Over the past decade, schools […]

Youth Today Column: The Student Success + Youth Success = Field Success

I’m encouraged by recent signs that the Biden administration understands the importance of community-based organizations to the allied youth fields.  Take the National Partnership for Student Success launched earlier this month to help place an additional 250,000 Americans into schools and communities with the goal of countering the effects of the pandemic on students’ academic […]