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!

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!

Adam Fletcher on Social Media

Here are some of the social media channels Adam Fletcher operates!

The Freechild Project—Connecting young people and social change.

SoundOut—Promoting Meaningful Student Involvement in school change.

Adam Fletcher—Youth engagement consultant, speaker and writer

 

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.

Elsewhere Online

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!

2012 CommonAction Summary

With the last weekend of the year upon us, it gives our CommonAction family a chance to take a snapshot of our achievements in 2013, along with the young people, adult allies, and communities we serve! This includes the activities of CommonAction Consulting, The Freechild Project, SoundOut, and Heartspace, our websites, training, technical assistance, speaking, and more!

With the last weekend of the year upon us, it gives our CommonAction family a chance to take a snapshot of our achievements in 2013. Through our 10 projects with 14 client organizations nationwide, we served at least 10,000 young people and adults in more than 50 communities nationwide. We addressed 5,000 people in 10 conferences across the country too. This year there were more than 200 blog entries that reached more than 100,000 unique views. The Freechild Project website had almost 1,000,000 unique views, and the SoundOut website had almost 20,000 unique views. All totaled, our daily social media contacts reach almost 10,000 users. Our 25 publications were downloaded almost 15,000 times, and redistributed countless other times online.

Communities Served
Our work brought us across the country again this year, including Miami, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; New York City, New York; Burlington, Vermont; and Washington, DC. Here in our home state of Washington, we’ve served the cities of Bellevue, Cheney, Auburn, Bethel, Burien, Olympia, Richland, Seattle, College Place, Dayton,Kennewick, Finley, Prosser, Lippold, Kiona, Benton, Othello, Clarkston, Prosser, and Paterson.
Organizations Partnered
Organizations that we’ve partnered with include Service Learning Seattle; City of Cheney Parks and Recreation; Catalyst Miami; City of Bellevue Parks and Recreation; Eastern Washington University; King County Youth Development Executives; Community Schools Collaboration; North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center; Boys and Girls Club of Thurston County; Bethel School District, Schools Out Washington; the Institute for Democratic Education in America; City of Auburn Parks and Recreation; ESD 123, and ESD 113.
Projects Led
Major projects that we partnered on this year included Let’s Move, Cheney!‘s 5-Year Strategic Plan, the King County Youth Engagement Practitioners Cadre with SOAR and the Seattle Public Schools Service Learning Seattle Youth Engagement Zone. We also launched the Seattle Youth Media Camp with Social Moguls and Service Learning Seattle. Other projects included the SoundOut Program, launched in more than 20 schools nationwide. In Miami, Florida, our schools include Booker T. Washington High School and Miami Beach Senior High. Across Washington state, schools include New Horizons High School, College Place Middle School, Columbia Middle School, Dayton Middle School, Kennewick Park Middle School, Richland River’s Edge High School, Finley Middle School, Kennewick Highlands Middle School, Prosser Falls High School, Kiona-Benton Middle School, Othello McFarland Middle School, Clarkston Education Opportunity Center, North Franklin Middle School, Prosser Housel Middle School, and Paterson Middle School. 
Conferences Addressed
Eastern Washington University Building Healthy Communities Conference, North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center New Generations Iniatitive, Thurston County Youth Development Summit, Service Learning Seattle Conference, SOAR PIECES Conference, Bellevue Youth Involvement Conference, Washington State 21st Century Community Learning Centers Conference, WRPA Youth Section Youth Conference, ESD 105 21st Century Community Learning Centers Conference, Schools Out Washington
Internet Shared
This year I posted more than 200 blog entries that reached more than 100,000 unique views. The Freechild Project website had almost 1,000,000 unique views, and the SoundOut website had almost 20,000 unique views. All totaled, our daily social media contacts reach almost 10,000 users.
Publications Distributed 
Our 25 publications were downloaded almost 15,000 times, and redistributed countless other times online. We sold 40 copies of our SoundOut Curriculum.
This has been amazing year that was nothing short of magic! Look for even more in 2013…
Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!