Explaining the ‘Need, Response, Results’ Continuum

Yes, this blog title is a little scary…or at least a head scratcher.  Would it be better if we just said ‘we are experts in youth development and we can prove it!’ instead?  J   Alright then, let’s go with option two…

 

Hundreds of kids each day come through our doors during the academic year—at school sites and Clubhouses—from all walks of life.  We are able to offer proven programs—curriculum-based with outcome measures—to change lives for the better.  Most of our programming falls under one of the three ‘pillars’ shown below—and there are metrics for each to measure impact:

 

        Academic Success

        Character & Citizenship

        Healthy Lifestyles

 

There are eight ‘core’ programs that virtually all Clubs are focusing on going forward—in addition to dozens of others they might offer based on unique issues and/or talents among their staff—so you can get a sense of what we are all about from this list:

 

        Career Launch

        Club Tech

        Family PLUS (Parents Leading, Uniting, Serving)

        Goals for Graduation

        Keystone Club

        Torch Club

        Triple Play:  A Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul

        Youth for Unity

 

Now, going back to where we started, what does this really mean?  It’s easy—when issues that affect our youth are identified we usually have a programmatic solution—and over time we can determine how it works.  Achievement gaps for certain racial/ethnic minorities and those from lower income households?  Power Hour, Whiz Kids and our menu of high yield learning activities during the summer come to mind.  Summer learning loss?  See above.  Drop out rate?  Goals for Graduation is a perfect fit.  Employment readiness?  Career Launch and Junior Staff are right on target.  Teen pregnancy?  SMART Moves is one of several that focuses—in age-appropriate and gender-specific ways—on making good choices and the implications of your decisions.  Juvenile crime?  Targeted Outreach.  Leadership?  Keystone/Torch Clubs and our Latino Outreach Initiative all help build the leaders of tomorrow.  Obesity?  SPARKS—which stands for Sports, Play and Active Recreation for KidS—a federal grant funded, multi-year initiative that we will work to sustain.  Hunger?  Kids Café—evening meals at both Clubhouses every day of the week.  You get the point…

 

All this said, no one entity can even dream of meeting all the needs of youth in our community, and there are many others in the equation who make strong efforts.  Find one that you like and lend a hand—or a buck—or both! 

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