The heart of a positive youth development approach is to ensure that young people are safe and supported to learn and to lead. Yet, genuine youth leadership in youth-serving systems and organizations is not nearly as common as it needs to be for youth-serving fields to realize their potential. One recent bright spot, highlighting the process and the power of supporting youth leadership was the recent study, From Access to Equity: Making Out-of-School Time Spaces Meaningful for Teens From Marginalized Communities, supported by The Wallace Foundation.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is essential for young people to navigate the ever-increasing challenges of today's world. While many SEL programs and much of the research to date have focused on elementary school-aged children, more recent research shows that middle and high school-aged youth can also show substantial benefits from explicit opportunities for social and emotional development.
This summer, extra resources and extra attention are being focused on summer learning opportunities. This extra attention and funding are increasing opportunities for high-quality and coordinated summer programs that support both young people’s academic and social and emotional growth. Through the Wallace Foundation’s National Summer Learning Project, our knowledge base of how to stand up, structure, and implement effective school district and partner-led summer programs has greatly increased.
With support from The Wallace Foundation, Learning Heroes’ latest research, “Out-of-School Time Programs: Paving the Way for Children to Find Passion, Purpose & Voice” reveals exciting new insights about the role of out-of-school time (OST) settings in helping our young people thrive.