Rebranding CommonAction…

For those of you that read this blog regularly, I want to thank you for sticking with me! Since 2006, I have written more than 1,300 entries about things I care about the most, including youth engagement, student voice, meaningful student involvement, personal engagement, and community empowerment.

Starting today, I’m rebranding this blog! However, you are already familiar with the name…

The CommonAction Consulting blog will now officially be the Adam Fletcher blog! It links directly from my professional website, and will feed directly onto my professional facebook page. Same topics, plus a few of my other interests melded into it, including some of the hyper-local history of North Omaha, Nebraska, and a few attempts at poetry here and there.

So, here’s to the next grand adventure – WOOHOO!

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Characteristics of Successful Youth Engagement

Ideally, youth engagement happens throughout communities and across society. Youth programs and youth councils are good; but engaging youth at home and throughout regular community places is great. However, the space is not as important as the characteristics of the community.

Working with more than 40 youth engagement practitioners throughout King County for our Youth Engagement Practitioners Cadre over the last two years, I have collected a lot of best practices and tips. Here are some some of the characteristics of successful youth engagement they identified. 
Characteristics of Successful Youth Engagement

Programs are Focused. 

Instead of meandering through purposeless activities and focus-less personal activities, every activity is designed to be a concise, deliberative engagement of multiple intelligences, broad perspectives, and varying experiences. Engaging young people remains the central action throughout the program, and improving the community is the focus of every activity.

Environments are Supportive.

Youth and adults alike are committed to working together without fear of retribution or alienation. All youth are partners with each other and adults in the program, and work together for the common cause of improving communities through youth engagement.
Activities are Engaging.
The experiences, knowledge, ideas, and opinions of youth are validated and substantiated with meaningful learning experiences that infuse community interest with a new capacity to visualize, analyze, create, and engage youth as partners.

Thinking is Critical.

As co-learners within a community of learners, youth provide vital insight in the community improvement process for their peers and adult allies. These democratic interactions are actively encouraged and supported by all members.
Processes are Transparent.
There should be no mysteries about what the purpose of the youth engagement program is, or what the outcomes of the activities will be. The program offers numerous ways to make goals, outcomes, and activities fully understandable to youth.
Decisions are Decentralized.
Youth engagement activities emphasize the common experience of all participants—youth and adults—as co-learners, empowering youth to engage fully throughout the learning process. Decisions affecting every member are made by members of the program—youth and adults—and everyone is held equally accountable and celebrated equally.

The Cadre members taught me that these characteristics combine to create powerful climates for youth engagement. Learn more about the King County Youth Engagement Practitioners Cadre here, and contact me for more information.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

The Freechild Project Publication Guide

Did you know about all the publications offered by The Freechild Project? For more than a decade we’ve offered a series of publications for free and available on Amazon.com. Below is The Freechild Project publication guide, featuring our most popular books and guides!

 

The Freechild Project Youth-Driven Programming Guide

This guide is an introduction to youth-driven programming for nonprofits, government agencies, and other youth-serving organizations. The booklet gives a definition and compares approaches, and then provides planning tools, evaluations and assessments, and more. It includes the Ladder of Youth Voice, rubrics for assessing youth-driven programming, and links to examples and resources that readers can explore on their own. Available here.

Freechild Project Youth Engagement Workshop Guide

24 hands-on, interactive workshops designed to teach youth and adults about how to successfully engage young people. Includes workshops on communication, planning, and other topics. Available here.
Washington Youth Voice Handbook

An introductory guide that lays out what, why, who, when, where, and how youth voice happens in diverse communities across Washington State. The handbook includes a Youth Voice Assessment, the Washington Youth Voice Directory, and a resource section. Available here.

Guide to Social Change Led By and With Young People

Centering on the “Cycle of Youth Engagement,” this publication is a summary of the social change issues and actions addressed by and with young people around the world. Written by Adam Fletcher and Joseph Vavrus. Available here.

Guide to Cooperative Games for Social Change

An introductory guide for young people, youth workers, teachers, and others interested in making social change engaging and relevant to all participants. Written by Adam Fletcher and Kari Kunst. Available here.

Firestarter Program Participant Guidebook

A hands-on guide to youth engagement in social change. Includes sections on motivation, skill-building, issue awareness, action planning, and resources. Written by Adam Fletcher. Available here.

Firestarter Facilitator’s Guide

A guide for youth and adult facilitators to the activities used in the Firestarter Program. Written by Adam Fletcher. Available here.

Discover many more articles, tools, and assorted publications available from The Freechild Project here. We also have a collection of free info from across the internet in The Freechild Project Library.
Let me know what YOU’D like to see available from Freechild next!
Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Coming May 2013: "Inconvenient Youth" by Adam Fletcher

CommonAction is proud to announce
Coming May 2013
“Inconvenient Youth: A Guide to Discrimination Against Young People” 
by Adam Fletcher, founder of The Freechild Project.

Contact us for information, including author booking and appearances, orders, and more.
Phone (360) 489-9680
Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

CommonAction’s Images

This presentation is a collection of images from The Freechild Project, SoundOut, Heartspace Teachings, and other CommonAction Consulting. Contact our office for more info or to use these by emailing info@commonaction.org.
Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

CommonAction on Social Media

There are many ways for people to work social media. A lot individuals follow a “Self-As-Brand” model, where an individual persona becomes the marketable aspect of a product or service. Another is the “One Big Name” model, which lumps everything about an individual or organization’s name and all the things they do. One of the strategies I’ve pursued on Facebook is to diversify my outreach in order to reach specific audiences.


In order to follow this strategy, I’ve sought to appeal to a range of audiences by creating and maintaining social media for each of my focus areas. Following is a list of my online outreach, along with information about what the issue is that outreach effort is addressing.

CommonAction – Engaging all people to change the world.

The Freechild Project – Connecting young people and social change. Includes examples, actions, and resources focused on youth voice, youth engagement, and systemic youth participation.

SoundOut – Promoting Meaningful Student Involvement in school change.

Heartspace Teachings – Showing personal engagement as a way to change the world.

Adam Fletcher

You can also always contact me directly by emailing adam@commonaction.org or calling (360) 489-9680.
Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Freechild Project Youth-Driven Programming Guide


 

This guide is an introduction to youth-driven programming for nonprofits, government agencies, and other youth-serving organizations. The booklet gives a definition and compares approaches, and then provides planning tools, evaluations and assessments, and more. It includes the Ladder of Youth Voice, rubrics for assessing youth-driven programming, and links to examples and resources that readers can explore on their own.”

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW.



Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

2013 Seattle Service Learning Symposium

Join CommonAction and others for the 
2013 SEATTLE SERVICE LEARNING SYMPOSIUM
Saturday, February 23rd, 2013
8:00-4:00pm

You’re Invited! 

Join School Staff, Community Partners, and National Service Members for Networking, Exploring Development & Implementation of Service Learning, Youth Engagement, Community-School Partnerships…

Agenda Includes…

  • A welcome by Superintendent José Banda
  • Service Learning 101
  • Building the Field from Within: Learning from Local Youth Engagement Practitioners
  • Youth Adult Partnerships: Strengthening Service Learning
  • Getting Your Ducks in a Row: How to Plan Science Service Learning at your School
  • The Teen Outreach Program: Effective Youth Development through Community Service Learning
  • Community Development: Following the Lead of Young People
  • Service Learning through Social Entrepreneurship in the Classroom & Community 
  • and MORE!

AND A NEW YOUTH INSTITUTE!

The first-ever Seattle Service Learning Symposium Youth Institute is coordinated by CommonAction, and will address three main questions:

  • What is service learning and why do we do it?
  • How can I do a great service learning project?
  • Can I change the world with service learning?

Details

Sponsors 

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!