Imagine if public schools left their libraries open during the summer for students to continue reading and exploring hands-on educational content. What would happen if media specialists remained on site so that students could check out books and access materials?
This week's developments are just part of a larger wave of reform in how communities and the justice system view and treat young people, and a growing recognition that some of our past practices and policies were ineffective.
January is National Mentoring Month, established to highlight and promote the positive difference mentors make in the lives of young people. Quality mentoring relationships are a critical asset for young people, providing them attention, support, and new possibilities.
How can we expect the next generation to value and preserve the outdoors if they are completely disconnected from it? It is critical that the outdoors become a part of the urban lexicon, parks and trails as much a part of daily life as streetlights and sidewalks.
Every day, it seems, criminal justice reform is in the news, and America finally seems to be taking the mass incarceration crisis seriously. Yet this focus has not extended to the progress made and the problems still faced by young people caught up in the justice system.
Sometimes the decision to change the lives of others can end up changing your own. I had a chance to ask Amy Saxton, CEO of Summer Search, a nonprofit youth development organization focused on education, about her decision to become a champion for underserved youth.
There are plenty of programs and national initiatives that have proven to be successful in preventing youth from engaging in criminal behavior. However, the U.S. lacks enough programs that reduce recidivism amongst youth.
Under pressure to show immediate, positive results, there is less time to grow, to improve, or to fail. A race for results puts pressure on programs to measure outcomes too soon, with weak methods, and without funding to invest in trained researchers. That race benefits no one.
By the age of 14, girls drop out of sports twice as often as boys. Social stigma, lack of access, safety and transportation issues, costs and lack of positive role models can all contribute to the reasons why girls drop out of sports in their adolescent years.
This week we funded stories and soul around the world from Kandace Vallejo's Youth Rise Texas project that works with children of incarcerated parents, to Tracie Pouliot's Chair City Oral History project that tells the stories of a working class community in Massachusetts.
In Kenya, Joan Otpi trains farmers to create fortified, nutrient-rich flour; in Pennsylvania, Janet Chambers launched a mentoring program for high school girls; and in El Salvador, Michelle Leach is giving youth a way to develop a local economy.
"When I met Nadeen, I saw that one day, she could be the next biggest designer, but she simply had no source of support around her, and it was likely her talent would die without the right tools and resources."
As New York City public school students who live in front-line communities that have experienced the ravages of climate change, we believe it is our right to be educated on the science of climate change.
Every day our juvenile justice system locks up girls who are victims of sexual violence, and physical and emotional abuse. In fact, we often incarcerate victimized girls in a misguided effort to provide them with services and to "protect" them.
I remember my first summer volunteering at the age of 12 for my local YMCA summer camp. Being the youngest of three and seeing my older siblings head off to work each day as camp counselors, I was determined to get in on the action and not be left at home alone.