New Article: Students Offer Lessons on Enhancing Engagement in Youth Programs

Posted by Child Trends on December 13, 2022

In a recent report, Child Trends highlight ways improve effective youth engagement in programs through four programmatic strategies provided by ninth-grade students. The key lessons are taken from feedback at the completion of a social-emotional program offered through four high schools in rural North Carolina. The goal of the program was to improve the “social-emotional competence” of adolescents and “support their healthy relationships.” Student feedback included program lessons tailored around the students’ lived and personal experiences, comfortable and inclusive spaces, and diverse activities to engage different types of learners.

To keep participants engaged and lessons relevant, programs should also be continuously evolving throughout their duration: “What youth find most relevant may differ depending on a given program’s context, but program staff should ask youth for their input before, during, and after the program ends.” The brief showcases that one of the most effective ways to cater youth engagement programs to the students is by including ongoing insight and perspectives from the participants.

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