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Jun 20 16

10 Tips for Working With Youth

by Marion
Hello Sprynters:

The National Afterschool Association in the US provides resources for those who work with children and youth in after school settings.

They have created a really simple and easy to remember series of tips for helping to build relationships with youth. They are easy to do, easy to remember, and easy to share with other staff and volunteers.

Check out the list at this site.


The MBA Symposium (More and Better Approach to working with youth) will be held:
November 23 – 24, 2016
Teatro Convention Centre, Milton ON

Presenters are invited to submit topics of interest to managers and staff who offer programs and services for youth ages 13 to 19 years (or any subset of that age range).

More information on this opportunity can be found in the Call for Presenters. Please click to access it.

The submission deadline is Monday, July 11, 2016.

The 2016 MBA Symposium is supported by Parks and Recreation Ontario and Play Works, founder of the Youth Friendly Community Recognition Program (the YFC application deadline is January 4, 2017 and more information and the application form can be found  here).

Interested delegates should save the date now, and look forward to the MBA brochure coming in August.

For more information contact:
Parks and Recreation Ontario
Play Works

Check out the following websites
Youth in Recreation
Parks and Recreation Ontario
lay Works Youth Friendly Community Recognition 

Jun 14 16

Early Adolescent Workshop Resource

by Marion
Hello Sprynters:

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

Positive Youth Development Train the Trainer Workshop

by Marion
Positive Youth Development Train the Trainer Workshop

Toronto, Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Program brochure and registration information click here

Positive Youth Development (PYD) is an approach that sees communities and agencies supporting youth as they develop socially, emotionally, ethically, physically and cognitively. During this day-long workshop, join other youth development workers and managers in learning tools needed to return to your agency armed with skills, resources and research designed to help you train and support your youth workers.

Early Bird Registration Deadline: Thursday, September 24 (SAVE $30)

Registration Deadline: Thursday, October 8

For more information or to register click here

Jun 14 16

Community Youth Maps

by Marion
Hello Sprynters:

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
Hello Sprynters:

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.

The Application for the Youth Mentorship Program is Now Available!

The ministry is inviting interested parties to submit proposals to deliver the Youth Mentorship Program.

To receive a copy of the application package, please contact:

Lisa Price, Sr. Policy Analyst, Ministry of Children and Youth Services at
Deadline to apply: 15, October, 2015, 4:00 p.m. EST

Please indicate in your email which CMA you are targeting to deliver the Youth Mentorship Program.

For more information about Application packages for the other programs listed above, please visit

Please direct any questions regarding these programs to

In addition to the above opportunities, please note that the Youth Opportunities Fund, delivered through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, also provides grants and capacity-building supports. Please visit for more information.

Jun 14 16

Gender Identity and Gender Expression Toolkit

by Marion
Hello Sprynters

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

Mood Walks for Youth in Transition

by Marion

Hello Sprynters:

Deadline November 30, 2015

Mood Walks is a province-wide initiative that promotes physical activity in nature, or “green exercise,” as a way to improve both physical and mental health. Led by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, in partnership with Hike Ontario and Conservation Ontario, Mood Walks provides training and support for community mental health agencies, social service organizations and other community partners to launch educational hiking programs, connect with local resources, find volunteers, and explore nearby trails and green spaces. Mood Walks is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

The next phase of our project, Mood Walks for Youth in Transition, will build capacity to support youth who are at risk of, or experiencing, mental health issues. Young people often become less physically active as they enter their teen years. This life stage is also typically a period of many “transitions” — from teenager to young adult, from high school to post-secondary, from living at home to living away. All of these changes tend to be accompanied by greater levels of stress, higher prevalence of substance use, as well as the emergence of mental health issues. Hiking combines physical activity with exposure to the natural environment — two elements that have proven benefits in promoting mental wellness and recovery from mental illness.

Interested in hosting a Mood Walks group, or partnering with a Mood Walks group in your community? The Call for Expressions of Interest to participate in Mood Walks for Youth in Transition has been posted on the Mood Walks website:

The submission deadline is 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 30, 2015.

Questions? Contact the Mood Walks Project Manager at

Jun 14 16

10 Ideas for Building Meaningful Mentor Relationships

by Marion
Hello Sprynters:

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

Input on Youth Advisory Council Toolkit Requested

by Marion
Hello Sprynters:

While this is an Ontario-based project, input is appreciated from across the country….

Parks and Recreation Ontario is seeking your input on a survey about Youth Advisory Councils. The survey deadline is Friday, March 4 and respondents will receive an electronic copy of the resulting toolkit.

In January 2016, Parks and Recreation Ontario, on behalf of Play Works, was awarded a 3-year Ontario Trillium Foundation project to support youth engagement initiatives in small and rural communities, with the intent of helping youth take on leadership roles in their communities.

One of the primary goals of the project is to support the development of 15 new Youth Advisory Councils across Ontario over the next three years.  It has been identified that communities with a formal Youth Advisory Council or Committee are more likely to have a commitment to play, as well as having youth who feel connected and valued in their communities.

In the first year of the project, we will be developing a Youth Advisory Council Toolkit.  This resource is being written to provide essential tools, tips and resources for both new and existing councils.

To assist us in this endeavor, we are asking you to take part in a short survey which will provide us with valuable information on the current status of Youth Advisory Councils as well as the what information should be included in the Toolkit for both new and existing Youth Advisory Councils.  This survey is ntended for both communities with or without a Youth Advisory Council. 

To complete the survey, follow this link: For communities with a Youth Advisory Council, please allow approximately 15 minutes to complete the survey. For those without a Youth Advisory Council, the survey will take less than five minutes to complete.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.  The deadline for response is Friday, March 4. Respondents will receive an electronic copy of the toolkit. Delivery is expected in the fall of 2016.

Parks and Recreation Ontario

Jun 14 16

Rethinking the Teenage Brain

by Marion
Hello Sprynters:

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:

Jun 14 16

Youth Collective Impact

by Marion
Hello Sprynters:

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, starting May 18th 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

Evaluating Youth Programs YouthREX

by Marion

Hello Sprynters:

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.

Jun 14 16

Municipal Information Network News

by Marion

2016 Quebec Municipalities Rankings
Municipalities can control their spending

British Columbia
New measures enhance B.C. government openness, transparency

Fort Saskatchewan
Unique Economic Development Video Project

City launching new eProcurement software tool

YouthTO launched today as web resource

Animal Services launches mobile spay and neuter services for dogs and cats

Textiles are the next frontier in recycling for cities looking to cut waste: Senior Waste Manager




Jun 14 16

Social and Emotional Learning

by Marion

Hello Sprynters:

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

10 Ways To Meaningfully Engage Youth

by Marion

10 Ways to Meaningfully Engage Underrepresented Youth

Thursday, May 28th, 10:00am-11:30am
featuring Amy Hosotsuji, Grassroots Youth Collaborative and
Rebecca Houwer, YouthREX with Duane Hall, Spoke N’ Heard

Do you want to foster youth leadership development? Does your organization support youth intitiatives such as internships, youth councils or youth-led/directed programming? Are there some youth you wish you could reach and/or connect with better?


When engaging youth, we often focus on how we can support youth to be prepared and ready to work in organizational settings and/or with adults. But what about adult and organizational preparedness to work with youth?

This webinar will provide valuable insight on how to authentically work with underrepresented, marginalized youth so that you/your organization can effectively develop, inspire and nurture youth leadership and engagement. Based on her extensive experience working with youth from diverse communities, Amy Hosotsuji, Coordinator of the Grassroots Youth Collaborative, will share her top 10 strategies and key observations on this topic, including reflections and case study examples from individual, organizational, community and systemic contexts.

Amy will also be joined by Rebecca Houwer,YouthREX Central ON Region Hub Manager and PhD Candidate, Faculty of Education at York University for a Q&A session. Rebecca will contextualize their discussion using research she conducted on youth leadership and engagement for a Mitacs-Accelerate Graduate Research Program, with the support of community partner, For Youth Initiative.

Duane Hall, Events Curator and founding member of Toronto-based grassroots youth organization Spoke N’ Heard will also join Amy and Rebecca, providing a frontline youth worker perspective on the topic at hand.

Please click here for more information or e-mail with questions.

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

Whitby Wins Award of Excellence for Youth Strategy

by Marion

Congratulations are in order!

The Town of Whitby has been awarded the APEX 2014 Award of Excellence in the One-of-a-Kind Government Publications category for its 2013-2018 Recreation and Leisure Services Youth Strategy.

View the media release for more details and read the comprehensive Youth Strategy for great ideas to bring to your community.

The Town of Whitby is also pleased to be recognized by Play Works as a Platinum Youth Friendly Community in having provided evidence the community has met all 16 Youth Friendly criteria.

For more information on the Town’s Youth Initiatives, please visit their website at
Town of Whitby…. Or contact

John Watkins
Supervisor of Community Development
Phone: 905-430-4300 ext 6504
Sarah Klein
Manager of Recreation
Phone: 905-430-4338
Town of Whitby

Aug 5 14

Canadian Youth Sport Report

by Marion

84% of Canadian youth in the 3-17 age range participate in sports of some kind and 60% do it on an organized basis according to the Canadian Youth Sports Report released in June 2014.

What the top 10 sports are in which youth participate
What sports are of most interest to girls
What the average cost is to participate in different sports
and more…..

A high level synopsis of the report can be found at the SRG Website or you can contact SRG to purchase the full report. Contact information to do so is on that site.

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

Aug 5 14

New Resources

by Marion

The Ministry of Children and Family Development in British Columbia has recently released a new Youth Engagement Toolkit.

The Toolkit, presented in an easy-to-understand and use format, is made up of the:

Champion Guide
Resource Guide
Evaluation Tool

A nice video has youth speaking to the rationale for youth engagement, and staff commenting on how to embed youth engagement in one’s work. This resource is transferable to a variety of different settings, not just applicable to youth services offered by the government.

Check it out here

Cities Fit for Children is a provincial summit being held November 21 and 22, 2013 in Surrey BC.

It will bring municipal, child development, and other professionals together to share expertise and ideas in making communities fit for children and youth.

A complete list of workshops can be found on the Cities Fit for Children 2013 website.

Early Bird registration for $195 is available till the end of September. Discounted conference rate rooms at the Guildford Sheraton are available, and can booked via this link.

For more information, please contact
David Sadler
778 846-0330

Aug 1 14

Stepping Up – Ministry of Children and Youth Services

by Marion

Ontario releasing a strategic framework to help Ontario’s youth succeed

I am very pleased to announce that the Government of Ontario has released Stepping Up – A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed . It is a first-of-its kind roadmap for Ontario that will help our government and partners step up to do more to help young people. After all, we all share the same goal – for our youth to be safe, healthy and happy; to succeed in school and to have the opportunities they need to grow into responsible, contributing adults.

Stepping Up strengthens our government’s commitment to young people, identifies our priorities and will guide our decision-making. The development of Stepping Up is an excellent example of the benefits of collaboration. It builds on past consultations with youth and partners through the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, Stepping Stones: A Resource on Youth Development, and Ontario’s Youth Action Plan. It also reflects input from 18 provincial ministries, the Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities, Dr. Alvin Curling, my Strategic Advisor on Youth Opportunities and co-author of the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence report, and partners in the youth-serving sector, including young people themselves.

Stepping Up is also a call for co-operation and action in all our communities. It is a call for all of us to come together and work towards the success of our young people, who are at the centre of this framework. Stepping Up identifies 20 evidence-based outcomes and related indicators across seven themes that are important to Ontario’s youth. To keep our focus on enhancing the well-being of our young people, we will track these outcomes and indicators every year and we will report annually on our collective progress.

Together, we can ensure young people in our province get the support and opportunities they need to reach their full potential. The future of our province depends on it.

You can read the framework at questions about Stepping Up can be directed to

Teresa Piruzza
Minister of Children and Youth Services

May 31 13

Emotional Intelligence Activities for Youth Ages 13-18

by Marion

There are some interesting resources from the USA regarding youth from families who are deployed in the Forces.

The following excerpt provides a list of exercises to initiate conversations about how young people feel and how they can and do relate to others. They are great tools which can be used with any group of youth to help youth better understand themselves and for youth workers to better understand those with whom they work. 

You can find this resource here.


Jan 25 13

Adolescent Growth and Development

by Marion

Here is a quick summary from Virginia State University about adolescent growth and development. It covers topics such as:

  • what are physical, cognitive and psychosocial developments?
  • how do they affect teens?
  • what can you do to help ‘normalize’ these changes for teens?

This is a great tool to use when training new staff to work with youth or to help sensitize staff, who don’t directly work with youth, to better understand how to best meet their needs.

In a 1/2 an hour, you could present info on one of the three areas, invite discussion on what you could do, then reflect on the suggestions that are presented in the handout. It’s a quick and easy way to build youth-sensitivity training into your workplace.

Adolescent Growth and Development

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

Teen Dating Violence Awareness

by Marion

Here is an interesting newsletter article from Health Sciences North about Teen Dating Violence Awareness.

It speaks to different types of dating violence that teens experience, how to introduce the opportunity to talk about this issue, and what warning signs might go along with dating violence. There are also a number of websites that are referenced for further information.

This quick and easy 2-page read can be found at Teen Dating Violence Awareness.

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.

Download this child/strategy document  on the Leisure Information Network (LIN).

Jan 25 13

Stepping Stones: A Resource on Youth Development

by Marion

A message and significant resource from the Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services, The Honourable Eric Hoskins.


June 13, 2012


Stepping Stones: A Resource on Youth Development

Dear Partner:

I am pleased to share with you Stepping Stones: A Resource on Youth Development which combines the most recent research on youth development with the voices of Ontario’s youth.

Stepping Stones is the result of an incredible amount of thoughtful and collaborative work by researchers, community organizations and most importantly, young people. It emerged from a recommendation in the report on the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, authored by Roy McMurtry and Alvin Curling, to develop an evidence-based policy resource that we can all use to improve the services we provide for youth. Its development has been guided and shaped by voices of youth across the province and partners across the youth-serving sector. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this resource for their time and hard work.

Our government believes that the success and resilience of our youth is vital to building a strong and prosperous province. Stepping Stones is another step towards achieving that goal.

Stepping Stones will help those who support youth – governments, families, teachers and youth-serving organizations – better understand how young people develop. It will help inform the work we do finding new and innovative ways of supporting youth.

I sincerely appreciate the efforts of those who contributed to this project and commend the tireless contributions of the many individuals and organizations who work every day to provide Ontario’s young people with opportunities to grow and develop.

As you begin to incorporate Stepping Stones in your own work, I encourage you to share it with anyone who supports youth and adapt the information the resource contains to suit local needs and purposes.

I also encourage you to share any comments and thoughts you may have about the resource at Your insights will assist us in our ongoing efforts to help youth realize their maximum potential.

Yours truly,

[Original signed by]

Dr. Eric Hoskins


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

Jan 25 13

First-Ever National Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards Developed for Afterschool Programs

by Marion

Comprehensive guidelines from the Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition help ensure healthier snacks and more active playtime for 8 million children and youth in out- of-school programs

CHICAGO, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, the Healthy Out-of- School Time Coalition (HOST), comprised of leaders in out-of-school time care and health promotion, brought together by the National Institute on Out-of- School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB) and YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), announce the first-ever comprehensive national nutrition and physical activity standards for out-of-school programs for children in grades K-12. The new guidelines are the latest tool in the fight against childhood obesity and a step in promoting healthy options for the more than 8 million children that participate in out-of-school programs at least three hours a day, according to statistics from the HOST Coalition.

To get more information on this topic, click here.

To view the guidelines, click here.

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

Online Training on Positive Youth Development

by Marion

Here is a nice free online training about Positive Youth Development. 

It is in two modules (45 and 60 minutes respectively). A certificate is available upon completion. 

It is straight-forward in content and is a great primer for those new to the field, those who want more info to be able to share with others about what is meant by PYD, and/or to educate and/or advocate for the inclusion of a PYD approach in your youth programs.

You have to register for the course before you can access it but it is a very simple process and takes no time at all.

Online Training

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)