ERIC Number: ED412382
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Oct-24
Havens of Hope: Vibrant Youth Groups in the Lives of Today's Young People.
Astroth, Kirk A.
Nonschool youth groups can serve many purposes for young people, especially promoting maturity and development and helping youth to build productive lives. Simply attending youth groups may not be enough, however. Studies have often failed to show beneficial effects of youth group membership versus youth who have not been members; but the studies have not taken into account the climate of the youth groups. Effective youth groups should be vibrant--they should provide roles for youth that have power and engage in actions that really matter in their communities. A model for effective youth development practices has five critical elements: (1) philosophy (experiential learning, service, high yet realistic expectations, local connections, training, and mentoring); (2) culture (youth driven, firm but flexible, promoting communication, a safe haven for learning, working and playing hard, and affirmation and support for members; (3) power structure (autonomy-oriented adult leaders, youth as partners, partnerships with parents, and commitment to empowerment; (4) programs (valued and relevant, voluntary, high-quality, continuity and connection, linked to community, individual responsibility within group experience, opportunities to succeed, and capitalizing on the physical environment); and (5) staff (having courage and stamina, trusted and trusting, flexible, advocates for youth, knowledgeable, and committed. (20 references) (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A