Thursday, October 01, 2015
Friday, September 18, 2015
This week, we'd like to highlight a promising new pilot that was conducted this summer as part of the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program. Through an innovative partnership between RSA, DOES, the Secondary Transition CoP, OSSE, DCPS, and select public charter schools, the first Summer Youth Employment Institute (SYEI) was formed to provide individualized supports and services for youth with disabilities to ensure a meaningful work experience in DC’s SYEP.
We're excited by the success of this year's SYEI, and look forward to see this model of specialized support for under-served populations continued and replicated within SYEP to maximize meaningful summer work experiences for the program's 18,000 participants. Read below for more insight into this innovative approach from our friends at SchoolTalk, who conducted this summer's SYEI!
Through an RSA contract with SchoolTalk, Inc., The DC Summer Youth Employment Institute (SYEI) pilot provided 22 youth from several DCPS and charter schools with the individualized supports and services they needed in order to be successful in DC’s SYEP.
Participating youth began the summer with a weeklong employment preparation boot camp where they engaged in hands-on learning to help them begin to build the self-awareness and soft skills necessary for successful summer employment.
During the six weeks of SYEP, the youth worked at job sites across the city where they and their employers received extensive supports from RSA and SchoolTalk case managers. RSA provided individualized supports and services, including job coaches and assistive technology, while SchoolTalk case managers checked-in regularly with the youth, their employers, and their families, in order to help them problem solve any issues that arose in relationship to the work environment, job tasks, and individual supports and services.
At the conclusion of SYEP, the participating youth came back together for a three day closeout session to reflect on their experiences, and to connect their summer work to their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs), and short-term and long-term employment goals.
Impact on Youth
Wednesday, September 09, 2015
As summer has wound to a close, we've taken a bit of a break from blogging. As we gear back up for fall, please know we'll be back and as active as ever. In the meantime however, we do want to use this week to encourage you to check out the Raise DC Progress Report released just this morning.
Raise DC’s 2015 Progress Report provides a critical snapshot of the District’s progress in
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Not only was this summer program a great benefit for the elementary school youth, I also gained something from the experiences that I had leading workshops. I gained memories with the youth that will last a lifetime, and I have also improved upon my leadership skills. Before this summer, I was the quiet and reserved person who was always sitting in the darkest corner of the room and never eager to get out of my own comfort zone. However after this summer, I was able to find leadership skills in me that I never thought I had. Now, I am more open and comfortable talking to people I just met.
In addition to helping younger youth this summer, the AALEAD program introduced me to resumes, cover letters, and elevator speeches. My high school peers and I also did career exploration which led us to explore different careers in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). We focused on arts & technology, service & technology, and entrepreneurship & technology during our program. This allowed me to visit many different places like Union Kitchen, Torpedo Factory, and Verizon to learn about career experiences and what a work place is like. I have learned many things this summer from how to develop an effective presentation and how to how to write a resume.
If AALEAD didn’t have a summer program like this I wouldn’t have done anything with my summer. Memories would not be created for me, and I would not have gained anything from sitting at home and spending time on my electronic devices. I am grateful for the experience of having been a part of the AALEAD summer program as not only a participant and an employee, but also as a leader.
DCAYA would like to thank Ellen for sharing her experience with AALEAD. If you'd like to learn more about the services and supports provided by AALEAD be sure to visit their homepage today!
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
- Summer learning programs can erase early reading deficits. More than 80 percent of low-income youth in this country are not proficient in reading by the end of third grade, making them more than four times as likely to drop out of high school as their peers to who reach this critical benchmark. K-3 summer learning programs have been shown not only to mitigate summer learning losses in reading in the early grades, but to accelerate skill development to get young people up to grade level by third grade.
- High-quality summer learning programs level the college and career playing field. Alarming data on the skilled workforce pipeline and need for remedial coursework in two- and four-year colleges have created a national sense of urgency around work-embedded learning, apprenticeships and college preparation programs, particularly for first-generation attenders. Summer youth employment programs are proving critical to keeping students productively engaged and learning, making meaningful contributions to their community, learning valuable job skills, and exploring potential careers.
- Pre-service and in-service teachers want to make the most of their summers. Quality teaching is consistently linked to successfully closing achievement gaps, but most teachers today have between one and two years of experience. Summer learning programs are an increasingly likely place to find the kinds of pipelines into and through the teaching profession that are working. Offering training, mentorship, leadership, and ownership of their work, community-based programs give new teachers additional time to hone their skills, refine lesson plans, and build deeper relationships with students.
Rachel Gwaltney is the Director of Policy and Partnerships for the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA). She leads development and implementation of services, projects, and partnerships that strengthen summer learning policy and build capacity of state and national leaders and organizations.Learn more about DCAYA's fantastic partner, the National Summer Learning Association, at www.summerlearning.org. And consider attending their Summer Changes Everything annual conference, October 12-14 in Baltimore, MD.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
|Photo credit: Office of Youth Programs' Instagram|