Looking to kick start your summer?  Check out a training from our special summer menu!


From Blah to Mwah: Turning your afterschool program into a Summer Oasis

Summer is an important time for young people to kick back and relax, but it’s also an opportunity to provide exposure to a variety of activities and connect to learning outcomes through experiential, project-based learning.   Through the magic of metaphor, simulation, and creative materials this workshop will take you on a journey to re-imagine what is possible using inexpensive materials and a lot of imagination.

In this workshop participants will:

  • Develop a robust calendar of activities to fill the summer months with engaging activities
  • Turn ordinary activities into creative reality-tv style projects
  • Experience simple strategies to infuse your program with summer fun while upholding academic rigor
  • Integrate youth-development based learning techniques to build community, activate curiosity and create project-based learning experiences in thematic units

Name Games, Icebreakers and Transitions

The best behavior management strategy is to pre-empt issues by creating strong structures to build community and establish collective practices for group management.  This short 3-hour training will provide staff with a toolbox of techniques to build meaningful relationships with youth, provide positive outlets for the eb and flow of youth energy, and establish behavior guidance structures to keep everyone cool as you turn up the heat in your activities.

In this workshop participants will:

  • Learn 10 fresh new energetic games to use with youth to build community and relationships
  • Practice using “back-pocket” activities as a strategy to manage group dynamics over extended days
  • Identify behavioral cues to diagnose distracting youth behavior, meet their needs and redirect their energy

Building Intentional Communities: Activities and Strategies to Embed Core Values with Your Youth and Staff

Creating a summer program often involves new staff, new activities and a whole new schedule.  How do you create a cohesive team unified in vision, behavior management strategies, and facilitation techniques?  This training explores the importance of establishing a program culture based on core values, and ways to build your programmatic strategies on the strong foundation of a unified staff vision.

Given the right social conditions and held to high expectations every young person has the opportunity to flourish. Building this environment is a complicated and nuanced art – one that requires cultural awareness, knowledge of social justice principles, and the practice of deep democracy.

In this workshop participants will:

  • Engage in a dynamic conversation about establishing community and crafting an intentional organizational climate.
  • Explore the complexities of social context, cultural competency and curriculum selection in creating an intentional community for youth to thrive within
  • Identify strategies to embed core values into the program

Amadla, Awethu, Power to the People: Introducing Social Justice Activities to Youth

Amandala Xhosa is a zulu word meaning power, and was a popular rallying cry in the days of resistance against apartheid, used by the African National Congress and its allies.   Awakening young people to the world around them is an important part of their development.  This training will provide strategies to connect culture, identity and power through engaging, hands-on activities to bring social justice concepts to life in your program.

In this workshop participants will:

  • Experience 2 activities to explore identity and culture with youth and 2 activities to explore the impact of capitalism and social context on the choices and decisions youth make each day
  • Use a 5-step methodology to facilitate difficult conversations about race and class
  • Learn a facilitative style that allows youth to come to their own conclusions while balancing personal opinions with informative guidance

Youth Development 101:  Strategies to Embed Youth Development Philosophy into your Programs

This workshop will explore the fundamentals of Youth Development theory and practice.  Learn ways to integrate research-based practices and techniques into your work to support young people on their journey to healthy, productive adulthood.

In this workshop participants will:

  • Use group development theory to structure youth programs and tailor adult presence to the developmental needs of youth over time
  • Analyze “social resource” amongst youth participants and establish an intentional approach to teach youth the skills of connectivity, productivity and relationship building
  • Apply the 5-stage Skill Building Wheel to a range of program activities
  • Learn a process to teach reflection and de-brief skills to youth so they can learn from their own experiences
  • Engage in a self-care exercise to reflect on ways to create a healthy work-life balance and prevent burn-out

SEED: Supervision for Effective Employee Development

80% of your budget pays for staff time.  Staff Development is a must!

This workshop explores strategies fororganizational leaders to provide the right combination of guidance and support to develop the natural talents of their team, serve as inspiration when the going gets tough, and set high expectations for those around them to achieve transformational results for youth.

Developing these super-qualities takes dedication and a passion to invest in those around you.  This workshop promises a crash course in the fundamental practices of high quality staff development. 

In this workshop participants will lean:

  • A framework to mentor and coach any employee into an independent, proactive member of your team
  • Strategies to move across a spectrum from a supervisor, manager, and coach to thinking partner
  • A process to identify areas of opportunity for each employee and build a customized development plan
  • A coaching conversation model to structure supervision meetings and feedback sessions
  • A suggested structure for 1:1 supervision meetings
  • An opportunity to network, problem-solve and exchange strategies with other supervisors in the non-profit field

Amping Up Youth Voice: Program Design that Supports Independent Learning

Young people need opportunities to slowly move into deeper and deeper waters, to test their ability to make decisions, be self-responsive, and make choices that serve their greater interests and desires.  This requires scaffolded program design, that allows young people to take on increasing responsibility and leadership in the program over the course of time.  This 3 hour workshop will explore systems and structures a program can implement to support young people in hands-on learning and leadership development.

Participants will:

  • Use case studies to learn strategies used by successful national programs
  • Learn strategies to create learning containers to give youth control of their physical space and emotional needs
  • Apply program design principles that leverage rhythm and ritual to capture youth attention and simplify the role of the adult in giving directions
  • Explore behavior management strategies that create a safe space for youth to support eachother, through the consistent use of routines and limits
  • Learn strategies to provide feedback to youth and staff that encourages independence and success for all students and the program
  • Explore ways to model independent problem-solving and high expectations for youth

Activating Youth Leadership: Preparing youth to Navigate Professional and Academic Worlds

Afterschool programs that incorporate strong safety and relationship building strategies into their programs create a safe haven for youth to be who they are, enjoy youth culture, and learn in a protected environment.  But what happens when youth are too safe, and aren’t challenged to navigate situations outside of their comfort zone?  Youth development theory stresses the importance of providing youth with many choices for adulthood.  This 3 hour workshop will explore how to use the safety and relationships of programs to prepare youth to navigate professional and academic worlds.

Participants will:

  • Learn a framework of cultural competency to examine ways to bridge the gaps between youth culture and professional/academic culture
  • Learn strategies to teach youth to navigate systems, structures, and unfamiliar territory
  • Review research/case studies on programs that offer skills that prepare youth for adulthood
  • Create an action plan to integrate new strategies into existing program design
  • Practice strategies to teach cultural competency through code switching
  • Creating meaningful opportunities to “practice” towards adulthood

Beyond Four Walls: Connecting programs to the greater community

An indicator of healthy, productive adulthood is that we have healthy family and social relationships, and are meaningful contributors to our community.  Involving youth in the community through your program can be a meaningful way to create this knowledge and awareness of ways to give back and make a difference in the lives of others.  In this 3 hour workshop participants will:

  • Learn the difference between community Service vs. Community Involvement
  • Use a needs-based assessment to find intentional ways to connect to the community
  • Learn strategies to allow youth voice to frame the plan
  • Bring young people into the vision, mission, and strategy of impacting the community
  • Learn simulation activities to prep youth for what happens when things get tough in making social change

Youth Empowerment: Facilitation Skills for Youth Workers

Youth development theory states that young people need opportunities for independent thinking and decision-making in order to prepare them for healthy, productive adulthood.  This 3 hour workshop explores the art of transferring power to a group over time, or fading facilitation. 

Participants will:

  • Learn Facilitation strategies to move from didactic to hands-on learning. 
  • Apply group development theory to program design.
  • Complete an assessment tool to gauge the strengths and opportunities of current facilitation skills. 
  • Develop structures to support young people’s independent learning