Target 4: Engaged Community Partners – FWSU staff and students will collaborate, innovate,create and conceptualize ideas and learning with local, regional, state, and global partners to make a difference in their community, state, and world.
Action Step – Plan and manage instruction around problems relevant to students and their community and develop solutions for authentic audiences.
GEMS was pleased to welcome over 75 participants to the Middle School Parent/Student Dialogue Night held on May 9th. This important event was presented and facilitated by the school’s Youth Empowerment Group (YEG) which is comprised of 20 student leaders in grade 6-8. The evening was aimed at engaging the community in conversations and sharing information and ideas about middle school student trends, strengths, concerns, and behaviors.
The YEG group met three times in the fall/early winter to review and discuss 2011 data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). The YRBS measures the prevalence of behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disease, and injury among youth. The survey is part of a larger effort to help communities increase the “resiliency” of young people by reducing high risk behaviors and promoting healthy behaviors. The statewide report is based on representative samples of high schools and middle schools and is weighted to reflect all public school students in six through twelfth grades.
The students of YEG also participated in training as a group to better understand their school needs. Students discussed various strengths and concerns before identifying the top 3 to 4 priorities. These student leaders group then created an Action Plan to address the specific areas of concern as they prepared to present their ideas before a broader audience. They targeted risky behaviors in their plan which included physically inactivity, unhealthy eating habits, self destructive behaviors and alcohol use.
The parents of middle school students who attended the Dialogue Night enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the students about their ideas. Please click here to view their ideas for addressing risky behaviors among their peers. With the help of supportive staff, parents, community members, and outside resources, the YEG group is excited to move ahead and put some of these ideas into action.
Thanks to all who made Dialogue Night a success!