Learn by Doing

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Only as an adult have I settled into my preferred learning style. A counselor once listened to me describe a daydream of swimming and labeled me a kinesthetic learner. I’ve embraced that definition and learned to facilitate experiential education through my career at ISU Extension. Did you know that the 4-H motto is learning by doing? This workshop presented by … Read

Take Charge!

Martha McCormickSocial Justice2 Comments

The subject of feminism continues to trouble people a lot smarter than me. I did, however, live at a critical time of “Women’s Lib” as my mom called it. She sent me off to a small midwestern college in 1968, thinking I would be safe there from the ferment on college campuses. I had other ideas though; I immediately got … Read

Tear Down the Walls

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

My brother and I agree that our trip to central Europe last May made the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall more meaningful than I remember it being even when it happened. One Prague memory I keep going back to as I listen to reports of the celebration is the sculpture Quo Vadis, by the edgy Czech artist, David Cerny. We visited about … Read

Review Survey Results

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

It’s really important for people who complete surveys to be able to see the results. At Next Step I work to have the whole process as transparent as possible, at least for surveys that are of interest. Here are the results of a few– Outdoor Bill of Rights Clique Survey Sex Quiz And if these interest you, maybe you’d like … Read

Sleep Out for Reggie

Martha McCormickSocial Justice2 Comments

As the weather gets colder, I feel more and more sympathy for the homeless people I see on the street. A few years ago, a young homeless man named Reggie died in Des Moines, bringing much needed attention to the problem of youth homelessness. Searching for more information about the problem, I found these three shocking statistics– More than 1.3 … Read

Shuffle Power

Martha McCormickSocial Justice5 Comments

Sexual harassment has touched many women and men; I have dealt with it personally only a year ago. We can only hope that instances of such insensitive, bullying behavior will decrease as our society evolves and becomes more respectful to women, girls, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender folks. But, it’s up to each of us to confront it and to … Read

Love Your Body

Martha McCormickMindfulness & Movement, Social Justice2 Comments

There’s been a lot of controversy during the last week about a photo of a “normal woman” in the September issue of Glamour Magazine. Body image is certainly an area that trips a lot of women up, and I am one of them. The blog post about the reaction to the photo talks about how important it is for us … Read

Review the Chrysalis Report

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

As I finish the 2009 Chrysalis After-School Evaluation Report, I am impressed by the hard work and stellar outcomes of this innovative program. The third year of my evaluation work for Chrysalis documents positive outcomes for young women in: Resilience Economic Empowerment Leadership Girls, facilitators and parents are seeing positive changes in confidence, communication skills, school attendance and work, and … Read

Venture into Social Drama

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Annie Mielke and I met last year and got excited about the potential for working with girls on drama and then training them to work with younger groups as a service project. Annie’s specialty is working with kids with Asperger Syndrome and Autism, so her audiences learn a lot about these mental disorders, the challenges people with these diagnoses face, and how to relate well to … Read

Learn about Relationships

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Several years ago we were brainstorming about different approaches to adolescent pregnancy prevention, and came up with the idea of an adventure education program framed around healthy relationships. Part of the rationale is that it might be easier to talk about sex and sexuality while you’re busy climbing a wall or getting your group through a giant spider web. We … Read