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May 31 18

Youth Engagement Toolkit for Mental Health

by Marion

Hello Sprynters:

The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health has created:

Walking the Talk: A toolkit for engaging youth in mental health

The toolkit is based on a positive youth development model and includes good information on:

What is youth engagement?
What are its guiding principles?
What are its core components?

There are links to other resources, such as Mind Your Mind, a website designed to work with young people to co-create interactive tools and innovative resources to build capacity and resilience.

There is great information here to build the case for using a positive youth development approach to achieve mental health as well as positive outcomes in recreation, education, employment and youth-related programs. It also provides information that support the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed.

Click on the links above for more information

May 31 18

Promoting Equity for LGBTQ Youth

by Marion

Greetings Sprynters!

The Forum for Youth Investment is hosting a free webinar on Promoting Equity for LGBTQ Youth, January 31st, 2 – 3 pm, EST.

For more information and the link to register, please click here.

(Note that as this is a US-based registration system, you get to decide what State you’d like to live in!).

Oct 12 17

Rethinking the Teenage Brain

by Marion

Here is a thought provoking article from Kristen Fay in which she reviews recent brain research and its implications for better understanding what youth are going through during their adolescent years.

Kristen outlines the importance of consistent and warm supportive relationships, clear expectations, recognition the potential for good and positive outcomes. Reading this short piece will increase your knowledge of adolescent brain development and the importance of infusing the implications into programming and approaches to working with youth.

Read the full article at:

Oct 12 17

Evaluating Youth Programs YouthREX

by Marion

YouthREX invites you to join a no-cost three-part webinar series on different elements of its approach to evaluation.

Says YouthREX:
Our mission is to make research evidence and evaluation practices accessible and relevant to Ontario’s grassroots youth sector through knowledge mobilization, capacity building and evaluation leadership. Central to our approach is a nuanced understanding of ‘evidence’ that acknowledges the politics of evaluation and the need for evaluation processes and methods that reflect grassroots youth sector realities.

In this new webinar series, you will have a chance to engage in conversations with YouthREX’s academic directors, staff and key stakeholders on our Evaluation FrameworkCustomized Evaluation Supports (CES), and newly launched evaluation toolkit. They have all have been developed to support youth programs in Ontario to understand their impact.

May 11, 2016
11:00AM – 12:00PM EST
YouthREX’s Framework for Evaluating Youth Wellbeing
Join us as we discuss the purpose and vision of the Framework and examine how its three guiding lenses – learning-focused, youth engaged, and contextualized methods – are uniquely suited to respond to the needs of grassroots youth programs.

May 26, 2016
1:00PM – 2:00PM EST
An Overview of YouthREX’s Customized Evaluation Supports (CES)
In this webinar, we will walk you through our service delivery model and learn how we ground our values in practice and support the evaluation of more than 70 youth programs across Ontario.

June 09, 2016
11:00AM – 12:00PM EST
Finding and Selecting Tools for Your Outcome Evaluation
Learn more about the inventory of measures that YouthREX is developing. Using a CES case example, we will walk you through how to select outcomes, indicators and measures, and use our Evaluation Toolkit to support your youth program evaluation.

Oct 12 17

Youth Friendly Community Application

by Marion

If you believe you live in a Youth Friendly Community, and your community has not yet been recognized, then this may be the time!

In Ontario, 45 communities have been recognized and more than 42% of Ontario’s adolescent population call these Youth Friendly Communities ‘home.’

Let yours be one of them!

You can find information about Play Works Youth Friendly Community program here, and download the brochure and application here.

The deadline for application is January 4, 2017.

Prior to starting, please arrange for an Orientation Call to get helpful insight to help in the application process.

Contact or call 416-426-7065.

Brought to you by Play Works
4-H Ontario
Arts Network for Children and Youth
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada – Central Region
Parks and Recreation Ontario
YMCA Ontario 

Oct 12 17

Knowledge to Action for Youth Wellbeing

by Marion

YouthREX is hosting a provincial eXchange, October 28, at York University, Toronto.

This eXchange will be an exciting learning and networking day that includes keynote speakers, a panel session, and diverselearning opportunities reflecting our three themes:
The Youth. The Work. The System.

For more information and to register, go to this link.

Oct 12 17

Online Youth Development Resources

by Marion

The Sequor Youth Development Initiative is a centre for youth development resource development and delivery. It hosts a series of practical tools and information to support those who work with adolescent youth.

Resources range from videos to downloads and cover topics such as positive youth development, program evaluation, bullying, LGBTQ inclusion best practices, social media influence on youth, and promoting physical activity.

All resources are free of charge and can be found at


Oct 12 17

Corrected Webinar Link: Sport Participation PYD Approach

by Marion

Sport is the most popular extra-curricular activity for youth across Canada and has been identified as an important environment to foster psychosocial development in youth. It is particularly important for youth facing barriers to access and benefit from these opportunities.

YouthREX has created a Research to Practice report summarizing the current state of research on youth development within community-based programs for youth with a focus on sport and/or physical activity, both theoretically and empirically. It identifies strategies and best practices for fostering youth development within community-based sport and/or physical activity contexts.

Finally, it provides recommendations for community-based youth sport programmers to incorporate positive youth development frameworks, approaches, and strategies into their programs.

This report will deepen the impact of youth sport programs, particularly those working with youth facing barriers, and improve our understanding of how to intentionally structure sport programs to support psychosocial development.

To learn more about this research, join the webinar  on January 31 from 10am -11am EST. To register, click here.

For further information, contact:
Rebecca Houwer
Knowledge Exchange Manager
Youth Research & Evaluation eXchange (YouthREX)
York University
4700 Keele Street, Toronto
ON M3J 1P3

Tel: 416-736-2100 ext. 66312
Tel: 1-844-876-5433
Fax: 416-650-3861

Online Youth Hub:
Twitter: @REXforYouth

Oct 12 17

Sample Youth Strategy

by Marion

Here is a sample coordinated Youth Strategy developed by the County of Brant and the City of Brantford.

It is unique in that the strategy is aligned with the Province of Ontario’s framework, Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed.

It’s easy to read, includes the Search Institute’s 40 developmental assets for youth and Play Works’ Youth Friendly Community criteria.


Oct 12 17

Youth Friendly Community Recognition

by Marion

Play Works is pleased to introduce the recently updated Youth Friendly Community criteria and the new YFC application portal.

The deadline for application is January 5, 2018.

A series of live Orientation Webinars are available to guide communities through the online application portal.

Click on one of the dates below to access the registration form for one of the Orientation Webinars. Access to a computer with speakers is required (or if no speakers to a phone which is needed along with the computer).

September 19, noon to 1 pm (registration deadline Sept 15)

October 12, noon to 1 pm  (registration deadline Oct 9)

October 30, noon to 1 pm (registration deadline Oct 27)

November 29, noon to 1 pm  (registration deadline Nov 26)

The Youth Friendly Community application portal can be found here.

Please forward any questions on Play Works:

Oct 12 17

Collective Impact with Youth

by Marion
Hello Sprynters:

There’s still time to register!  Please Contact Youth CI for more information.


Youth CI invites you to attend an Impact Accelerator Working Session to help organizations and collectives identify ways to improve outcomes for youth in communities across Ontario.
The Impact Accelerator will give you the opportunity to step away from your day-to-day activities and think critically about the impact you are trying to achieve through your work. The sessions will include information on how to access Youth CI workshops, coaching and grants, including our NEW Grassroots Youth Leadership in Collective Impact grant, designed to support youth-led groups who want to build strong foundations in Collective Impact.Participants that attend will have the opportunity to learn about applying for our upcoming Youth CI workshops and funding opportunities.

If you’re looking to improve outcomes for youth in your community, JOIN US! Organizations and collectives are encouraged to bring 2-3 people to the in-person sessions. These can be members of your leadership team, members of your collective, board members and key stakeholders.

In addition to the Impact Accelerators, we’ll also be hosting online webinars that highlight support offered in the Youth CI program.
For more information, email us at
We look forward to seeing you!


Click below to register for one of our Youth CI Impact Accelerators or Online Webinars! Space is limited.

Youth CI Impact Accelerators

Youth CI Impact Accelerator
October 12

Youth CI Impact Accelerator
October 16

Youth CI Online Webinars

Youth CI Information Session
Online Webinar
October 10

Youth CI Information Session for Youth-Led Groups
Online Webinar
October 17


Youth CI is a partnership between the Laidlaw Foundation and the J.W. Family McConnell Foundation’s Innoweave platform, with support from the Government of Ontario.
Jun 14 16

Early Adolescent Workshop Resource

by Marion
The McCreary Centre Society in BC has done work with early adolescents. As part of that work, it created a resource on how to host an Early Adolescent Workshop.

The resource includes hints on how to structure a workshop to include skill building, refreshments, recreation and more. It also talks a bit about youth development, youth mapping and budgeting.

A reasonably light 30-page read can be found here.

Jun 14 16

Community Youth Maps

by Marion
Some communities have begun to provide youth maps so that the young people in their community know where to go to find local services.

Here’s an example of one done by the City of Victoria. There are nice click-on icons with pictures or logos of each of the community resources.

Jun 14 16

Ontario Youth Action Plan

by Marion
You would have received information a while back about Ontario’s enhanced Youth Action Plan.

The enhanced Ontario Youth Action Plan includes investments in new and expanded programs to support at-risk youth and high needs communities.

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services is inviting interested parties to submit applications for funding to deliver some of these programs including:

  • Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) for children in the middle years
  • Youth Mentorship Program
  • Youth Outreach Worker Program
  • Gang Prevention / Intervention*
  • Restorative Justice and Conflict Mediation

Please note that most of the above programs are targeted to the Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) of Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Brantford, Peterborough, Kingston and the Greater Toronto Area.

*The Gang Prevention / Intervention Program, is targeted to be available in the CMAs of the Greater Toronto Area, Thunder Bay, Windsor and Ottawa only.


Jun 14 16

Gender Identity and Gender Expression Toolkit

by Marion
The 519 is a Toronto-based community agency which exists to support the evolving needs of the LGBTQ community. Awareness and education programs are part of its mandate. The 519 has just released a new resource: Creating Authentic Spaces – A Gender Identity and Gender Expression Toolkit to Support Implementation of Institutional Social Change.

This is an excellent resource to use in training or orientation sessions for all staff (program, management, customer service, maintenance, etc.) and volunteers to inform them of your agency / department’s inclusive approach for all citizens. Such education is particularly important for those working or interacting with youth, as self-identity is particularly important during the adolescent years.

This easy-to-read/understand document includes information on understanding gender identity, how to create welcoming environments, scorecards on operational areas such as risk management, and job aid tools such as washroom and change room signage, gender specific/neutral pronouns, and being a supportive peer or co-worker.

You can find this resource here.

Jun 14 16

10 Ideas for Building Meaningful Mentor Relationships

by Marion
The Search Institute has published a very easy to read list of ways in which mentors can build great relationships with the youth with whom they work.

Check them out at 10 Ideas.

Jun 14 16

Youth Collective Impact

by Marion
There is a series of Youth Collective Impact information sessions taking place this spring.

Youth CI helps organizations in local communities across Ontario learn about, develop, launch, and implement collective approaches that directly improve outcomes for youth in their community through information sessions, coaching, workshops and grants.

For more information on the sessions, and being held in:
Thunder Bay
Niagara Region
Durham Region
Guelph and
please click here.

Please direct any questions to the contact at the above link.

Jun 14 16

Social and Emotional Learning

by Marion

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which individuals acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

CASEL, in the USA (see descriptor below), is undertaking research on how SEL can help students be more successful at school. The SEL theory and approaches can be easily translated to after school, formal sports/recreation and/or drop in programs for youth.

Here is some general information on SEL.

And, here are some frequently asked questions about SEL.

Of particular interest are the five Social and Emotional Learning Core Competencies, and the outcomes for youth when programs are developed and which integrate activities and approaches that support the Core Competencies.

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is the nation’s leading organization advancing the development of academic, social and emotional competence for all students. Our mission is to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of education from preschool through high school. Through research, practice and policy, CASEL collaborates to ensure all students become knowledgeable, responsible, caring and contributing members of society.

Aug 12 15

Understanding the Transition Year – Youth Ages 12 to 14

by Marion

The following scribed video presentation looks at working with 12-14 year olds, considered the transition years. It discusses how staff and volunteers can support the successful transition from childhood to youth and also introduces the “Stepping Stones” developmental stages tool, created by the Ontario government.

This video was made possible through a bilateral grant from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Check out the video here.

Jul 16 15

What Kids/Youth Need to Succeed

by Marion

Many of you may be the one person helping yo make a difference in a young person’s life. Maybe you know of others who would like to do the same but who don’t know where to start.

Here is a short article about the importance of the ‘one adult’. There are some tips on how to be that caring person and some concrete strategies to consider.

While focused on children, the strategies are transferable to working with youth. While the article is written by a faith-based group, the five strategies are from the Search Institute and are not faith-based.

Click here to find this easy and inspirational read.

Jul 16 15

Girls Are Unstoppable

by Marion

The company that produces Always feminine hygiene products has created a series of videos which challenge the stereotype that females act or move ‘like a girl’.

These videos are great jumping off points for discussion with female/male and/or co-ed groups of youth. They are wonderful tools to help bring to light the myths around the competencies of young women and the opportunities and challenges they may face depending on how others view them.

Here is one video which shows how girls and young women can feel limited about their abilities based on what they have been told they can or cannot do.

It’s definitely worth a 2-minute watch and you can find it  here.

Jul 2 15

Ontario Launches Enhanced Youth Action Plan

by Marion

The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services is investing $55M in an enhanced Youth Action Plan.

For more information on the Plan components:
– Best Start, Right Start
– Safe Communities
– Youth Engagement
– Working Together, Building on Success
please click here to visit the announcement.

To hear about the Stepping Stones report, a precursor to the Stepping Up framework, listen to Sean Twyford, Director, Youth Strategies Branch, Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

Jul 2 15

Municipal Youth Engagement Handbook

by Marion

Here is a tool created by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities as a means to help engage youth in the local issues.

While it could be considered political in nature, as it concentrates on civic engagement in local government and issues, the theories of youth engagement are transferable to other settings.

In this resource you will find a lot of good and relevant information about Youth Advisory Councils and Mayor’s Youth Advisory Councils, as well as some links to some useful resources (found at the end of the document).

You can find the Municipal Youth Engagement Handbook here.

Jul 2 15

What to look for in LGBT Allies

by Marion

In the It Gets Better Project, Allies for LGBT youth are seen as essential pillars of support, encouragement, and hope when young people need them most. For many LGBT youth, it can be hard to identify people around them who can help. For those who want to be allies, it’s often hard to find the right way to be supportive.

Click here to find 5 illustrated ways in which LGBT Allies support youth.

Jul 2 15

Youth do have a voice

by Marion

Every now and then you come across some words of wisdom from someone who ‘gets’ working with youth. It’s our pleasure to share a selection of such, which was included in the Sooke News Mirror (Sooke BC) editorial section.

This is one to post in your department, agency, or office to act both as a reminder of what youth work is and which can be used as an education piece for those who may not know.

Check out this editorial.

Jul 2 15

Event Planning

by Marion

The Grassroots Organizing and Leadership (GOAL) Youth Capacity Building Workshop Series was developed in 2007 by youth-led organizations, funders and other partners to provide access to learning opportunities that can enhance the work of young people, artists and youth-led groups.

One of the resources developed by this group is an event planning guide. Presented in a step-by-step format, tt’s easy to read and informative approach is an asset to any group of youth, youth-led or adult-supported, that wishes to put on an event.

Check it out at Event Planning.

Jul 2 15

Always #LikeAGirl

by Marion

#LikeAGirl is an interesting youtube which helps young people understand what the term ‘Like A Girl’ actually means.

A great conversation starter for your youth group that only takes minutes to get going!

Check it out at #LikeAGirl.

Aug 5 14

Playing Together – New Citizens, Sports and Belonging

by Marion

Play Together for Inclusion:
A new study by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship sheds light on the important role sports can play in effective integration if structural barriers to new citizens’ ability to participate are removed.

While this study does not specifically relate to just youth, it is an informative read to better understand the needs and interests of new Canadians, and of how to use sport as a means of community engagement.

Click on Playing Together: new citizens, sports & belonging to access the report.

Aug 5 14

Youth Suicide Prevention Toolkit

by Marion

Here is a new resource from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. It has great general information, helpful hints for youth workers and parents, and access to community-based training opportunities. Here is the information they sent. Any questions, please direct them to the contact at the bottom of this email.

Youth suicide is an issue that affects the whole community – and shared problems require shared solutions. It’s as simple as that.

The Centre, together with a wide-range of stakeholders from across the province, are pleased to announce the launch of the new Together to Live toolkit.

Among the many valuable resources, you’ll find information on prevention, risk-management and postvention, tools to kickstart and sustain your community mobilization efforts, and an interactive map on initiatives taking place across the province. And this is just the beginning. We’ll be continually updating the site, so let us know what your community is up to and how we can help. T: 613-737-2297 l F: 613-738-4894
Full Website

Aug 5 14

Great Videos on Asset Development

by Marion

Here are two great videos, each less than 3 minutes long, which talk about techniques to support asset development in young people.

The first one found here includes simple ways adults can build relationships with youth. It is a good video to show those who work with youth, who want to build relationships with youth, or who are having challenges connecting with youth in their community.

The next video, speaks to a young person’s experience of learning about herself and how she addressed potential risk situations. This is a great video to start a discussion with a youth group around issue identification, problem solving, forward planning, and the importance of being a mentor for younger children.

Then, we have a final video which shows how assets can really empower young people. Granted, this young person is really young, but she sets the stage from which all of us can learn. Check her out here and, at the end of this video, click on the ‘watch the deleted scene’ which really shows personal affirmation around assets!

These videos then move into a TV interview show which speaks to the 40 Developmental Assets. Again, a great resource to share to give context what positive youth development work is embedded in.This is a much longer video, which is really informative, and which you could pull some information if you wanted to include it in a longer training program.


Aug 5 14

Cookbooks for Youth

by Marion

Free cookbooks for young people!

Two cookbooks have been released focusing on the health needs of young people as part of a project called Yhunger.

The Yhunger program, funded and supported by New South Wales Health (Australia), aims to improve food access and physical activity options for young people, 12–24 years of age. While these resources are aimed at those who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness, the language, the information about cooking, and the recipes are great for any youth. Youth could actually take these books and develop their own cooking or dinner program, during which they learn a bit about buying food, about food preparation, about nutrition, and about how to actually cook!
The simple and fast recipes, with step-by-step instructions, cost less than $4 per serving. And, each recipe aims to increase the intake of fruit and vegetables and uses common ingredients and basic kitchen equipment.

Click on the name for the cookbook of your choice.(they are a bit large so take a moment to download)
FYI Reheat is the first of the two book series

A cookbook for young people

Made fresh: More mad feeds

Jan 25 13

Surviving the Teenage Brain

by Marion

CBC TV has just re-run its Nature of Things show with David Suzuki on Surviving the Teenage Brain. It is a great show which helps explain some of why young people do, act, and say things the way they do and how it all has to do with normal brain development.

That is not to excuse certain behaviours. Rather, for youth development workers, it can help us focus our work on how to help youth better understand how they are developing and for us to provide programs and services that can help them explore their new world in a safe and positive way.

You can view the entire 42 minute show at . There are some commercials at the beginning that you will have to sit through…..

Jan 25 13

Surrey Child and Youth Friendly Strategy

by Marion

The City of Surrey, BC, has created a comprehensive Child and Youth Friendly Strategy.

For townships, towns, cities, municipalities, corporations, counties or individual agencies that have not yet formulated a child/youth strategy, this document might provide some great insight and ideas for consideration.

To view this child/strategy document, click here

Jan 25 13

Teen Mental Health and Brain Injury

by Marion

The Canadian-based Teen Health Org website has some great resources about adolescent brain development, teens and mental health issues, brain injury prevention and more. Short videos, as well as various printed resources, are online to help inform both service providers and youth themselves. You can access this website at

Here are two additional links – one for teens and one for parents and service providers – on understanding the effects of brain injury on adolescents and how to prevent it.

Click for teens

Click for parents/service providers

Jan 25 13

Diversity Activities for Youth and Adults

by Marion

Here is a neat and short list of activities you can do to help youth and staff groups learn to better understand and appreciate the subtleties of diversity.

Each activity is described in terms of the what is needed to do it, how long it takes and the process to do it.

There are then a series of debriefing questions which the facilitator uses to help the participants better understand how impressions and perceptions can shape how we respond to interactions with others.

Developed by Penn State, this is a nice resource for any youth or adult group.

You can find it here

Jan 25 13

Building and Effective After School Youth Program

by Marion

The David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality has a newsletter and this one, about engaging youth in after school programs, is very informative.

Of interest is the relation between Maslow’s hierarchy of needs relative to the developmental needs of youth and how staff can intentionally incorporate program components to meet these needs.

There also is some good information on staff expertise and training, as well as an easy-to-understand graphic which speaks to the differences between after school programming for youth as compared to children.

Whether you offer an after school or an out of school time program for youth, the information is transferrable to all settings.

Check out the newsletter at this link.

Jan 25 13

How to Hold a Youth Summit

by Marion

Here is a resource on How to Hold a Youth Summit. It uses an asset-based approach to engage youth in the process of gathering information about issues that affect youth.

It uses an easy-to-understand Logic Model approach and has lots of check lists to lead you or a group of youth (or even some adults who plan similar adult-based focus groups) through the planning process. There are great handouts too. All in all a very solid resource created by The Search Institute.

Check it out How to Hold a Youth Summit

Aug 11 11

Youth Friendly Communities

by Marion

2012 Youth Friendly Community Recognition Program.

Download the form, please click here.

You can find some great information on the Play Works website, which will help your community complete its application. Click here to access that information.

If you would like to receive more information on the application process, be put in touch with one of the recognized communities’ mentors, or receive a personal application orientation call for the members of your community who will be participating in  the application process, please email or call 416-426-7065.

Please note the application deadline is December 3, 2012.

Aug 11 11

The value of sport for youth to be promoted by UNESCO

by Marion

Early next year UNESCO, in association with the International Association of Sports Newspapers (IASN), will launch a quarterly e-bulletin which aims to ‘raise awareness of sport’s power and potential in development and peace initiatives, and to encourage young people to become leaders of positive change in their communities’.

The four main topics of the bulletins will be: sport as a development tool; youth empowerment and sport; sport and the fight against racism; and sport and violence prevention. Each issue will contain, among other things, an article written by a young person covering the main topic for that particular issue. To find out more, go to the UNESCO web page.


Aug 11 11

Youth Friendly Staff

by Marion

We are often asked if there is a course for training staff to be more youth friendly.

The Search Institute has some ‘easy to share’ Asset-Building Ideas for Youth Workers. The good thing is that these are transferrable to any staff who come into contact with youth – not just those who work with them.

You can find them here.

Aug 10 11

Youth Friendly Meetings

by Marion


The Heartwood Institute in Nova Scotia has some great down-to-earth resources
for working with youth.
If you are going to:
– host a meeting with youth
– invite them to join a committee/board of directors
– have been asked by elected officials or supervisors to invite a youth
representative to a meeting,
then take the time to acquaint yourself (or whomever is hosting the meeting) with
some basics on how to make the meeting more youth friendly.
It will go a long way to making it a more production venture and a more positive
experience for youth and adults alike!
Check it out at:
Jul 23 11

Youth and Stress

by Marion

Here is a really neat and short video trailer created by the School Team of the Sudbury & District Health Unit in collaboration with area youth. This video on teen/youth resiliency was officially launched at the 10th Annual Healthy Schools Coalition Forum.

The Sudbury & District Health Unit School Health Promotion Team has embarked on a creative adventure with our community partners by developing the Can You feel It?: A School Community Resiliency Program. The goal of this program is to empower students and school communities to adapt to or bounce back from changes and challenges they face. The four key messages of the CYFI program are: change is constant, recognize stress in your life, you control your reaction, empower yourself – you can do it!

This video trailer is great to use as a sensitizer for any group/individual that might not be familiar with the stresses that youth face.

Any questions on this resource should be directed to the Sudbury and District Health Unit at Tel: (705) 522-9200 or at its website at

Sep 14 10

Benefits DataBank (formerly the Benefits Catalogue)

by Marion

While this information is not just related to youth, the new Benefits of Recreation databank has great information to help you when writing proposals, reports or preparing community presentations to support youth programming and lifelong learning. It helps embed the ‘soft service of recreation’ into ‘hard research.’

The Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA) in partnership with the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association is pleased to announce that the new Benefits DataBank (formerly the Benefits Catalogue) is now available online.

This resource, which will constantly be updated, summarizes more than 700 pieces of  evidence that recreation and parks services really do make a difference.  Validation is provided for 49 benefits or outcome statements organized around the eight marketing messages listed below. Recreation, parks, sport, arts, culture, and heritage:

  • are essential to personal health and well-being
  • provide the key to balanced human development
  • provide a foundation for quality of life
  • reduce self-destructive and anti-social behaviour
  • build strong families and healthy communities
  • reduce health care, social service and police/justice costs
  • are a significant economic generator
  • and green spaces are essential to environmental and ecological well-being, even survival

The intent is to provide you with an invaluable resource for policy development, planning, marketing, program/service development and/or evaluation. The Databank is updated on a regular basis and Facts, Trends and Promising Practices are being added for each benefit statement, to help you make a case for expanding related programs and/or services. On the site you will also find information on how to use the Databank, blogs and much more. When using the DataBank, please keep in mind that you can contribute by alerting us to new research and promising practices that should be added.

Benefits DataBank (formerly the Benefits Catalogue)

Sep 14 10

Youth Friendly Communities

by Marion

Here are a few resources about Youth Friendly Communities.

Download the 2010 Good Practices resource from Youth Friendly Communities,  or The 2010 Youth Friendly Community Application is now online, and helpful hints regarding your community’s application.

Sep 14 10

Champions of Change

by Marion

Research has shown youth are attracted to programs which meet their unique and diverse needs. Arts programs go a long way to do this (creativity, self-expression, meaningful engagement, positive relationships with peers and adults, etc.).

Here is a resource which provides great statistical and general information on why and how arts programs are good for youth. If you are interested in starting or expanding an arts program, this information will lend credibility to your grant application or discussion with a decision-maker. It is 114 pages long. Take a look at the shorter Executive Summary at the beginning to see what you might want to print/save.

Champions of Change

Sep 14 10

Why Teens are not Involved in Out-of-School Time Programs: The Youth Perspective

by Marion

Whether you are new to programming with youth or have been doing it for years, here is a great easy-to-read resource that speaks to why teens are not involved in programs – from the youth perspective.  You can take this information and, if designing a new program, use these suggestions to help develop your program model. Or, you can take this information and, if you already have a program in place, cross reference what you are doing to determine if there are areas for potential improvement.


Sep 14 10

YAC Link – Tips and Tricks for Starting a Youth Advisory Council

by Marion

A joint report from the McCreary Centre, Powell River and Tia’Amin Youth Advisory Councils.

This information is great for starting a youth council and for assessing how your council is functioning!

The four sections:

  1. Why a YAC;
  2. Getting it Started;
  3. Keeping it Going; and
  4. Adult Support

are all simply written, with easy-to-understand graphics and helpful notes (e.g. adults should be a ‘guide on the side not a sage on the stage’…. you have to love it!).

YAC Link – Tips and Tricks for Starting a Youth Advisory Council

Sep 14 10

Strategies for Improving Out-of-School Programs in Rural Communities

by Marion

Here’s a nice short article on how to better program with and for rural youth. It’s out of the States so its references on models, etc. are from there, but some of the ideas are easy and transferable to a Canadian context.

Strategies for Improving Out-of-School Programs in Rural Communities

Sep 14 10

Safe Spaces Training Module

by Marion

The National Youth Advocacy Coalition has a training module around creating safe spaces for LGBTQ youth. You can access this training via iTunes video, YouTube or with slides (no narration) and handouts. The materials include pre and post tests. It’s easy to read and understand material suitable for staff and volunteer training as well as a participant orientation session.

Safe Spaces Training Module

Sep 13 10

Audience Insights – Communicating to Teens (Aged 12–17)

by Marion

Here’s an interesting newsletter about how youth use media and how to communicate with youth. While the newsletter is informative about how to get health topic communications to youth, the approaches adaptable to other topics such as recreation, education, or employment opportunities.

Audience Insights – Communicating to Teens (Aged 12–17)