YA Mulberry St.

9/20/18, 4:30PM-6:30PM

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 Banks – Youth Ambassador Coordinator
    • Rashely – Youth Ambassador
    • Lizbeth – Youth Ambassador
  • We made sure to clear the room of any tables and chairs before youth entered. We then ask the youth to sit in the middle of the room on the floor before beginning the lesson. During this session, one of the OBGC staff was present in the room the entire time with us.
  • Welcome
    • Alex reminded the group of the group rules they came up with the previous week. She also reminded them of respect, the short time BTM is at OBGC, and introduced the “snap, stomp, clap” tool for when youth get distracted.
  • Question Box Answers – We allowed youth to answer these questions themselves before providing the answer. This is to encourage a discussion and group morale.
    • Why do people have to be rude and disrespectful and bully? (from healthdirect.gov)
      • Answers included: They are jealous, they think it’s cool, they don’t have a good home life, and they don’t feel good about themselves.
      • BTM answer: There are many reasons, but some include: wanting to feel in charge and look cool (even though it’s not cool), having low self-esteem, not realizing what they are doing is wrong, feeling angry or frustrated, or being bullied once themselves.
    • Do you believe in love?
      • Answers included: yes and no. Some youth stated they believed in loving their family but not loving a boyfriend or girlfriend. They also stated that the most important thing is to respect other’s beliefs even if they don’t agree with you. Alex and the YAs as well as the OBGC staff shared their opinion on love and that your personal experience has a lot to do with how you feel about love at this time in your life.
      • BTM answer: There are many different types of love. There is love you experience towards animals, friends, siblings, parents, and romantic love towards a significant other. So yes, I believe in love but remember there are many different types of love and it is up to each person to allow different kinds of love into their life and heart. There is nothing wrong with someone if they choose not to “believe” in or allow romantic love to be a part of their life at this time or even at all.
    • When will you stop coming?
      • Answers included: 8 weeks, that’s rude, and that the youth wouldn’t have felt good if they were BTM and saw that question last week.
      • BTM answer: Ask youth what they think about this question. Ask them how they would have felt if they were the YAs who read that question. Refer back to respect reminder.
    • What happens when you die?
      • Answers included: Some youth took this literally and answered that you can get buried or cremated. Other youth took this spiritually and stated that everyone believes different things. They stated that some people believe you go to heaven or hell and other religions or cultures believe you come back as a cow.
      • BTM answer: Each person has a different belief about what happens when you die. These are usually called “spiritual beliefs”. Some people believe that when you die you go to heaven or hell while others believe there is no such thing as heaven or hell. This is something you can talk to a trusted adult at home about and even read more about if you are curious about a certain religion or belief system. However, it is most important that you respect what others believe even if it doesn’t make sense to you.
    • Ice breaker – Silent Soccer (10 mins max)
      • Have all students stand in a circle and spread out. Explain the rule of the game. You will need one medium size ball. The leader counts down “3, 2, 1, silent” and passes the pall to another person in the play area. A player must sit down if: S/he drops the ball. S/he makes a bad pass. They talk or make noise. Play continues until only one person remains. Last player standing get to be first to throw the ball in the next round. If game is progressing slowly, add a challenge by limiting time to throw, having all players take spread out, asking everyone to keep one hand behind their back at all times and so on.
      • Youth really enjoyed this ice breaker, as always! This activity has proven to be one of their favorites and something we play repeatedly with this age group. It keeps them focused and active yet also allows for silence for a portion of the session. The winner received a pair of BTM sunglasses!
    • Peer Education
      • Lesson 2: Why Fairness Matters
        • Follow Lesson 2, facilitated by Alex with YA assistance *YAs were late and unable to facilitate the lesson due to last minute changes* – curriculum attached
          • Alex facilitated the lesson and YAs ran the small groups during the second half. This lesson was relatively easy and included a lot of discussion.
        • Ground Rules from previous week was posted on the wall.
        • Fairness quotes read and taped to the wall by youth – see results attached
      • On Way Out
        • Ask each OBGC youth to give one word or short statement on how they feel after today’s lesson or something they learned. Four youth respond and receive a prize for sharing.
          • “I learned that you should be grateful for what you have because not everyone has what you do.”
          • “I didn’t know people don’t feel they have rights like I do.”
          • “I didn’t know there were basic human rights that every person has and should feel they have until today.”
          • “I didn’t know some people don’t feel loved and don’t have food. I thought everyone was equal and had the same things.”
        • Question Box Results – Ticket Out the Door
          • Why do we wake up in the morning?
          • Why are you so kind?
          • Is it ok not to be loved or to not have love for anyone?
          • How old are you?
          • Why does being gay, I don’t know but I’m not gay.
          • Why are all of you so smart?
          • Why is life so short ☹?
          • Why can’t boys get pregnant?
          • What made you want to do this? As far as the program and coming here.
          • Do you ever got in love?
        • See you next week, 9/27 @ 5:00PM
          • Lesson 3- Male and Female Word Webs
        • Tools used
          • Have youth raise hand to speak in order to discourage distraction and side conversations
          • When side conversations and interrupting break out, bring youth back to attention.
          • Emphasis on allowing the youth to come up with their own answers and giving everybody a chance to speak
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