Workshops February 22 & 23 | Toronto & Ottawa: Intentional Program Design for Youth Wellbeing

Thursday, February 22, 2018
12:00pm – 4:00pm EST
Room 519, Kaneff Tower, York University
(steps away from the new York University TTC subway station)

Friday, February 23, 2018
10:00am – 2:00pm EST
2400 Canal Building, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive

“Positive youth outcomes are too important to leave to chance. While each program is unique, the need for intentional program design is universal.”
Believe It. Build It. Minnesota’s Guide to Effective Afterschool Practices (Ignite Afterschool)

This workshop will explore the concept of intentionality as a framework for creating a new “architecture” in youth programs. In order for a youth program to be successful, it’s important to identify desired goals and outcomes and use these to establish a clear process to design and put the program into action. This workshop will review program development cycles and describe how design is nested within this process. We will explore the structure and schedule of youth programs from three different lenses and learn about effective program design from the perspective of youth.

Participants will come to this workshop with a program in mind (e.g., afterschool program, mentorship program, etc.) from their own practice that they will conduct an audit on to improve its design.

Participants will leave the workshop with:

  • An understanding of three different lenses that can be used to structure their programs.
  • Worksheets to guide decisions about design and re-design of their programs.
  • Knowledge of engaging activities that they can share with colleagues to improve program delivery.

This free workshop is being presented in both Toronto and Ottawa by Dr. Jennifer A. Skuza and Jessica Pierson Russo from the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development. Lunch will be provided.

Jennifer is the Assistant Dean at the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development where she leads program development and research efforts. She is also a faculty member in the Youth Development Leadership program at the U of M. Her research is focused on global youth citizenship, immigrant youth, and social and cultural foundations of education. She is the principal investigator of a CYFAR grant focused on promoting positive educational outcomes among Somali-American and urban youth. She is the author of WeConnect: A Global Youth Citizenship Curriculum along with her colleague Jessica Russo.

Jessica Pierson Russo
Extension Educator, Youth Development
University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development

Jessica provides leadership to the Urban Youth Development Office, which is part of the Extension Center for Youth Development. In this role, Jessica drives the work of the office to develop, pilot, and share successful models, approaches, and resources for improving the learning and leadership of urban young people. Jessica received her master of education from the University of Minnesota with an emphasis on racial reconciliation. Jessica is a certified language arts teacher and a naturalist and has worked with youth in public, private, and alternative schools, in both formal and non-formal settings across the US since 1997.

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