While partnerships between schools and youth-serving organizations have the potential to provide students the opportunity and support they need to be successful, developing strong and sustainable partnerships can be a challenge. YDEKC recently kicked off a peer learning cohort for community based organization partners in Highline Public Schools, just as we prepare to recognize and celebrate our first school-community partnerships cohort, “the Early Adopters,” in June.
Our cohort sessions incorporate tools from our Partnership Toolkit to support youth-serving organizations and their school partners at multiple stages of partnership: Assessing Readiness, Mapping Needs and Assets, Establishing Partnership, Working Together, and Evaluating Programs.
Jump on in with our Highline cohort and try out one of these Action Opportunities!
Are you at the beginning stages of partnership, new to your role, or ready to reassess where your partnership is at?
- Complete the Partnership Ready Organization Worksheet (using the Partnership Ready Organization Guiding Questions to reflect on your organization’s readiness to partner, what you personally contribute to the partnership, and the areas where you and your organization can improve)
- Answer the Partnership Ready Organization Guiding Questions with your staff team or a supervisor.
- Review the your partnering school district’s strategic plan and identify how your program goals align
- Invite your school principal or another school partner to engage in a dialogue about the climate and readiness to partner from the perspective of the school and your organization
If you’re already deep into partnership, you may be ready to strengthen your planning and evaluation processes by incorporating youth voice, as our Early Adopters cohort focused on in April.
Consider these questions:
- What would a “successful” youth-engaged evaluation process look like for you?
- What kind of staff supports do you think are necessary for youth-led evaluation to be successful?
- What kind of organizational practices are important for youth-led evaluation to be successful?
- How can your youth-led evaluation be integrated into program curriculum? What are some aspects of your curriculum that align well with data collection, analysis or program planning?
One resource we’re excited about that supports this work: YPAR, or Youth-Led Participatory Action Research. This site defines YPAR and provides many different lesson plans you can use on topics ranging from youth-adult partnerships to survey creation to community mapping.
Stay posted as we follow the learning journey of our cohorts!