Creative Youth Development Program Planning Resources

The following resources include:

Positive Youth Development Basics
Program Design: Research and Promising Practice
Logic-Model Planning and Evaluation
Logic Models: Samples, Template


Positive Youth Development: Definitions and Core Concepts

FindYouthInfo.gov
A brief orientation to youth development as a specific resiliency-based approach and philosophy on this U.S. government interagency website designed to help you create, maintain, and strengthen effective youth programs.

Youth Work Central
The BEST Initiative in Boston provides this nice, compact description of youth development. You will also find a link to core competencies for youth workers and a list of additional on-line resources, both worth checking out as well.

40 Development Assets™ for Adolescents
Search Institute, Minneapolis, © 2004.
Through extensive research, Search Institute has identified the 40 building blocks of healthy development that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Elsewhere on their site you can also find a PDF of this list, similar lists for younger children, and additional resources.

Back to Top

Program Design: Research and Promising Practice

Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project
This framework, developed by practioners over a twelve-month period, powerfully condenses the complex transformations taking place in arts-based youth development programs into three interlocking domains: identity, creative accomplishment, and connection with the wider community.

Engaging Adolescents: Building Youth Participation in the Arts (PDF)
National Guild for Community Arts Education, © 2011.
This guide outlines a holistic approach that integrates arts learning with principles of youth development. It is designed to help staff and faculty develop new programs and services for teens or to rethink and strengthen programs they already offer. (TIP: Use the “Bookmarks” feature on left for easier navigation of the publication.)

Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts
The Wallace Foundation, 2013
In choosing afterschool opportunities, teens and ‘tweens are consumers. (Whether programs are tuition-based or offered free of charge, young people are shopping with their time). Effective programs need to meet the young people where they are, and the market research in this report offers some highly actionable insights on what your consumers are looking for (and NOT looking for). The report also includes critical success principles for quality programming stress. The list of ten underscores the importance of addressing artistic excellence AND youth development principles — the either/or is a false dichotomy.

Living the Arts through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-Based Youth Organizations"
by Shirley Brice Heath, with Elisabeth Soep and Adelma Roach. Americans for the Arts, © 1998.
This landmark report examines how learning in the arts leads to the development of life skills and identifies the common characteristics of effective arts-based youth development programs. After conducting a nine-year national research project on non-school youth organizations in low-income neighborhoods, Stanford anthropologist Shirley Brice Heath concluded that rigorous arts programs are particularly effective at achieving youth development goals.

Preparing All Children for 21st Century Success (PDF)
by Mass. Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Task Force on 21st Century Skills, © 2008
This report from a task force of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary asserts that if our young people will be able to compete successfully for tomorrow’s jobs, today’s students will need to learn to be future leaders who can think creatively, work collaboratively, use technology to solve problems and take initiative. While the focus of the report is school reform, the publication makes a strong case for the kind of work going on in arts and cultural out-of-school programs. (See page 8 for the list of skills and themes.)

Powerful Voices: Developing High-Impact Arts Programs for Teens
This monograph from the SURDNA Foundation includes a "Framework for Effective Programs," organizing key elements into three components: Philosophy, Programming Essentials, and Approach to Content and Style (pedagogy). The monograph also includes a powerful Self-Assessment Instrument which can be used in a process to identify your program's principal areas of strength and important challenges in maintaining and raising program effectiveness.

Learning in 3D: Arts and Cultural Programming in Afterschool (PDF)
by Julia Gittleman, Ph.D., Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out-of-School Time, © 2007.
This issue brief published by a special joint commission of the Massachusetts legislature summarizes the findings from literature on the key characteristics of successful programming. The paper also summarizes key research on the effectiveness of out-of-school arts and cultural programming, notes Massachusetts’ leadership in this field, and identifies unique funding challenges for this work.

YouthARTS Toolkit Online Americans for the Arts, 2003.
The YouthArts site is designed to give detailed information to arts agencies, juvenile justice agencies, social service organizations, and other community-based organizations about how to plan, run, provide training for, and evaluate youth at-risk arts programs.

Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
Massachusetts Department of Education The frameworks guide local school district personnel in the development of effective curricula in each of the core content areas: Arts; English Language Arts; Foreign Language; Comprehensive Health; Mathematics; History and Social Science; Science and Technology/Engineering. For each discipline, the frameworks include broad statements that outline what students should know and be able to do at various grade levels (general standards) and discrete observable skills that demonstrate competency for these (learning standards).

Back to Top

Logic-Model Planning and Evaluation

"Measuring Joy" (PDF) Deborah Bedwell, Baltimore Clayworks. Originally appeared in Fall 2000 National Arts Stabilization Journal.
One executive director tells how the logic model helped her organization use their efforts in evaluating to strengthen their programs, allocate resources, and tell the story of their impact on young lives more effectively.

Guidelines and Framework for Designing Basic Logic Model
A brief, helpful primer that includes concise definitions of basic terms along with tips on what to include as well as what not to include in your logic model.

Using a Logic Model
Excellent introduction to both how to use a logic model and how to create one for your program.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook © 1998
This is still one of the best resources out there-an excellent framework for thinking about evaluation as a relevant and useful program tool.

Back to Top

Logic Models: Samples, Template

Logic Model Template (Word)

Berklee City Music (PDF)

Books of Hope (PDF)

Seeds of Leadership (PDF)

Creative Youth Development Program Planning Resources

The following resources include:

Positive Youth Development Basics
Program Design: Research and Promising Practice
Logic-Model Planning and Evaluation
Logic Models: Samples, Template


Positive Youth Development: Definitions and Core Concepts

FindYouthInfo.gov
A brief orientation to youth development as a specific resiliency-based approach and philosophy on this U.S. government interagency website designed to help you create, maintain, and strengthen effective youth programs.

Youth Work Central
The BEST Initiative in Boston provides this nice, compact description of youth development. You will also find a link to core competencies for youth workers and a list of additional on-line resources, both worth checking out as well.

40 Development Assets™ for Adolescents
Search Institute, Minneapolis, © 2004.
Through extensive research, Search Institute has identified the 40 building blocks of healthy development that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Elsewhere on their site you can also find a PDF of this list, similar lists for younger children, and additional resources.

Back to Top

Program Design: Research and Promising Practice

Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project
This framework, developed by practioners over a twelve-month period, powerfully condenses the complex transformations taking place in arts-based youth development programs into three interlocking domains: identity, creative accomplishment, and connection with the wider community.

Engaging Adolescents: Building Youth Participation in the Arts (PDF)
National Guild for Community Arts Education, © 2011.
This guide outlines a holistic approach that integrates arts learning with principles of youth development. It is designed to help staff and faculty develop new programs and services for teens or to rethink and strengthen programs they already offer. (TIP: Use the “Bookmarks” feature on left for easier navigation of the publication.)

Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts
The Wallace Foundation, 2013
In choosing afterschool opportunities, teens and ‘tweens are consumers. (Whether programs are tuition-based or offered free of charge, young people are shopping with their time). Effective programs need to meet the young people where they are, and the market research in this report offers some highly actionable insights on what your consumers are looking for (and NOT looking for). The report also includes critical success principles for quality programming stress. The list of ten underscores the importance of addressing artistic excellence AND youth development principles — the either/or is a false dichotomy.

Living the Arts through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-Based Youth Organizations"
by Shirley Brice Heath, with Elisabeth Soep and Adelma Roach. Americans for the Arts, © 1998.
This landmark report examines how learning in the arts leads to the development of life skills and identifies the common characteristics of effective arts-based youth development programs. After conducting a nine-year national research project on non-school youth organizations in low-income neighborhoods, Stanford anthropologist Shirley Brice Heath concluded that rigorous arts programs are particularly effective at achieving youth development goals.

Preparing All Children for 21st Century Success (PDF)
by Mass. Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Task Force on 21st Century Skills, © 2008
This report from a task force of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary asserts that if our young people will be able to compete successfully for tomorrow’s jobs, today’s students will need to learn to be future leaders who can think creatively, work collaboratively, use technology to solve problems and take initiative. While the focus of the report is school reform, the publication makes a strong case for the kind of work going on in arts and cultural out-of-school programs. (See page 8 for the list of skills and themes.)

Powerful Voices: Developing High-Impact Arts Programs for Teens
This monograph from the SURDNA Foundation includes a "Framework for Effective Programs," organizing key elements into three components: Philosophy, Programming Essentials, and Approach to Content and Style (pedagogy). The monograph also includes a powerful Self-Assessment Instrument which can be used in a process to identify your program's principal areas of strength and important challenges in maintaining and raising program effectiveness.

Learning in 3D: Arts and Cultural Programming in Afterschool (PDF)
by Julia Gittleman, Ph.D., Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out-of-School Time, © 2007.
This issue brief published by a special joint commission of the Massachusetts legislature summarizes the findings from literature on the key characteristics of successful programming. The paper also summarizes key research on the effectiveness of out-of-school arts and cultural programming, notes Massachusetts’ leadership in this field, and identifies unique funding challenges for this work.

YouthARTS Toolkit Online Americans for the Arts, 2003.
The YouthArts site is designed to give detailed information to arts agencies, juvenile justice agencies, social service organizations, and other community-based organizations about how to plan, run, provide training for, and evaluate youth at-risk arts programs.

Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
Massachusetts Department of Education The frameworks guide local school district personnel in the development of effective curricula in each of the core content areas: Arts; English Language Arts; Foreign Language; Comprehensive Health; Mathematics; History and Social Science; Science and Technology/Engineering. For each discipline, the frameworks include broad statements that outline what students should know and be able to do at various grade levels (general standards) and discrete observable skills that demonstrate competency for these (learning standards).

Back to Top

Logic-Model Planning and Evaluation

"Measuring Joy" (PDF) Deborah Bedwell, Baltimore Clayworks. Originally appeared in Fall 2000 National Arts Stabilization Journal.
One executive director tells how the logic model helped her organization use their efforts in evaluating to strengthen their programs, allocate resources, and tell the story of their impact on young lives more effectively.

Guidelines and Framework for Designing Basic Logic Model
A brief, helpful primer that includes concise definitions of basic terms along with tips on what to include as well as what not to include in your logic model.

Using a Logic Model
Excellent introduction to both how to use a logic model and how to create one for your program.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook © 1998
This is still one of the best resources out there-an excellent framework for thinking about evaluation as a relevant and useful program tool.

Back to Top

Logic Models: Samples, Template

Logic Model Template (Word)

Berklee City Music (PDF)

Books of Hope (PDF)

Seeds of Leadership (PDF)

 
 
 
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