Rising to the Challenge: Leveraging the Science of Learning and Development to Address the Reality of the Times
A recent virtual event launched the Readiness Projects and featured a series of short segments and interviews to tee up real-time topics for action and reflection in the days to come. What are we seeing, hearing, leveraging, and doing to respond to one very visible fact: out-of-school time is now all of the time? Together, we are stepping back to think about the inequities that are even more pressing for today's youth.
At least 21 federal agencies support programs and services focused on youth. What does it take to make sure that all of these policies and programs add up to positive, healthy outcomes for young people? For over a decade, the Federal Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs has brought together representatives from these federal agencies to promote achievement of positive results for at-risk youth through coordination and collaboration, evidence-based and innovative strategies, and youth engagement and partnerships.
I spent time this past week listening to nonprofit colleagues across the country who are sharing stories about how they are helping and learning from their national staff, their affiliates, local partners or schools, and the local staff, youth, and families they serve as they all adjust to this new normal. The stress on this sector is real, but the responses are incredible as many of these organizations scramble to help families and schools figure out what happens when out-of-school time is all the time.
In Puebla, a city of about 1.5 million people in central Mexico, there’s a school with a name that may only sound familiar to people from southeast Michigan. With a combination of active, experiential learning, a strong focus on social and emotional skills, and opportunities for building connections with land and community, Colegio Ypsilanti has been providing high-quality education to children and youth from preschool through high school for the past 35 years.
Close your eyes and imagine what an outstanding school looks and sounds like. What comes to mind? Young people collaborating and solving problems together? Or everyone at a desk memorizing facts for an upcoming test?