YA Olivet Mulberry St. Program

7.20.17 1:00PM-2:30PM

722 Mulberry St.

Reading, PA

Berks Teens Matter educates and trains high school students to be part of our mission to reduce teen pregnancy. These students become part of our Youth Ambassador program. One aspect of being a YA is to provide peer education to Olivet Boys and Girls club youth.

With the help of our YA coordinator, the high school students help run a weekly program at the boys and girls club that takes place throughout the year.

Working with kids ranging in ages 8-17, the YAs work one-on-one and in groups, discussing issues like healthy relationships, conflict resolution, anatomy, sexual health and reproduction. Through games, activities and tailored curriculum, OBGC students are given the opportunity to participate. They are also encouraged to submit a question via an anonymous question box at the end of each session.

The following notes are a summary of these weekly sessions.

  • Attendees
    • Alexandra Pratz – Youth Ambassador Coordinator Intern
    • Lisbeth Orihuela Flores – Student – returner
    • Yesley Licette Rodriguez – Student – returner
    • Meralis Castillo – Student – returner
    • Lily Alonso – Student – returner
    • Jesus – Student – returner
  • Room set up with many chairs, BTM posters around the room, and newsprint around the room. Table set up near door with prizes and question box on it.
    • When youth have been seated, Alex introduced herself and BTM as well as BTMs goal
      • Have Youth Ambassadors introduce themselves by name and grade at RHS
    • Tell youth that we are going to throw a beach ball around the room because now we want to get to know THEM!
      • They must say their name and answer the question their left thumb lands on or is closest to.
    • Group Guidelines
      • Due to this being our first program with this group of youth, having a newsprint set up with “Group Rules” written on it is helpful.
      • Introduce the concept of “Group Guidelines/Rules” and explain that they are going to be rules that apply to this room every time BTM comes so that people feel safe and comfortable since we will be talking about sensitive topics.
      • Allow youth to come up with their own ground rules (see attached results)
    • Education
      • “Blue is For Boys, Pink is for Girls…Or Are They?”
        • Begin with a simple lesson such as this in order to get baseline information on the youth’s knowledge level.
        • Have a Youth Ambassador at each station
          • Meralis at the computer to flip through PowerPoint presentation and handing out materials when needed
          • Jesus and Lisbeth in the back of the room with the “Boys/Girls” newsprint
          • Lily in the back of the from with the “Message/Sources” newsprint
          • Yesley floating and handing out materials when needed
        • Go through lesson plan in the order the curriculum recommends (lesson plan attached to curriculum used)
          • Boys/Girls newsprint results (see attached)
          • Message/Sources newsprint results (see attached)
        • Questions
          • Explain the concept of the “golden question box”
          • Have YAs hand out index cards and explain that youth must write something on the index card and put it in the golden box. Explain that questions will be answered next time we meet.
            • Encourage folding index cards in half and not sharing your questions in order to make all youth comfortable writing a question without fear of judgement of peers.
          • Wrap it up
            • Explain that we have prizes today to thank everybody for participating and helping us learn more
            • Have YAs hand out homework assignments while Alex explains that those who return their homework next week will receive another prize
          • Tools used
            • In addition to following the lesson plan, we had the youth collectively yell “Boy” or “Girl” when filling out the news print. This was meant to encourage participation and a fun environment
            • Emphasis on allowing the youth to come up with their own answers and giving everybody a chance to speak
            • In order to get the youth to focus in times of distraction throughout the program, we introduced a concept before beginning
              • Alex snaps her fingers, YAs snap their fingers, and youth snap their fingers until everybody is snapping
              • Alex stomps her feet, YAs stomp their feet, and youth stomp their feet until everybody is stomping
              • Alex claps 1 time, YAs clap 1 time, and youth clap 1 time. Do this 3x and their attention will be back to you and the lesson through a fun process
            • Barriers
              • There were 2 youth who were not strong at English.
                • Having YA Meralis there was a huge help. They understood some but whenever they did not get it, they asked Meralis who sat next to them throughout the lesson.
                • One of them cannot read or write English well.
                • They are both more comfortable with Spanish
              • Having a translator such as Meralis is helpful.
              • Changing the homework to be in Spanish as an option for youth that prefer it would be helpful.
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