Learn about Women’s History

Martha McCormickSocial Justice2 Comments

Even though I’ve been around for several decades, I’m still sometimes surprised by how much I DON’T KNOW about the part women have played in history and the evolution of women’s rights around the globe. Right now I’m reading a book called Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. It has some pretty excruciating descriptions of foot binding and the second … Read

Celebrate Justice!

Martha McCormickSocial Justice3 Comments

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

“I do believe there are gender and ethnic stereotypes that propel people to assumptions about what they expected me to be,” these words from Sonia Sotomayor, our newest Supreme Court Justice, encapsulate the reasons for Chrysalis After-School. Girls need to overcome those assumptions and women need to challenge them! So many articles have been written about how she has overcome … Read

Connect Service to Life

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Processing the experience is a core component of an effective service learning experience. You can process in a group or have group members create journals or portfolios. The questions here can be used for any of those methods; choose the ones that will help your group members internalize their service learning experience. This first group of questions will help reflect … Read

Process in Concentric Circles

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Concentric Circles works great both for processing and for getting your group to get to know each other. I’ve used it many times to create “teachable moments.” As a processing technique, it’s a good illustration that the facilitators don’t always have to be part of the processing discussion for it to be effective. When I heard this in a Matty … Read

Who Says Kids are Apathetic???!!!!

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Thousands of teen volunteers contribute more than 1.7 million hours of service each year in west central Florida through ManaTEENS! Two sisters, who were 12 and 17 years old then, started the organization in 1994. It’s grown into the largest locally based teen volunteer initiative in the United States! Their president spoke at the Youth Service Institute I attended in October 2008. When I … Read

Backward Planning

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Here is another group process for committees or small groups to use once they’ve decided on an activity. They start with the final activity, event or outcome and work backwards to define the steps toward accomplishing it. The group members have paper and markers, at least one sheet for each step of the process needed to accomplish the activity. They … Read

Plan with Post-Its

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

Once your group has decided on an activity to do, this process helps the group move toward making it happen. It could be done with the whole group, but it might be more effective in a committee or small group. It will help the girls who are in charge of the event to figure out the steps for making the … Read

Have Fun Generating Ideas

Martha McCormickSocial Justice, Team BuildingLeave a Comment

Here is a site that gives a clear description of brainstorming, with a process for narrowing ideas after the initial discussion. These eight rules provide some background for refining your brainstorming techniques for the best results in your groups. And this site for teachers has some free stuff and other ideas to take off from brainstorming like– 1. oBrainstorming Web … Read

Create Meaningful Advisory Structures

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Providing opportunities for making choices and speaking out are critical components of positive youth development programs. But it’s challenging to do this with a large group of kids who may want to go in 30 different directions. Here are ideas from a gallery activity at the 2008 Chrysalis After-School Facilitator Training for creating meaningful advisory structures with young people– Rotate … Read

Discussion Topics

Martha McCormickPhilosophy & Musings, Social JusticeLeave a Comment

Processing at the Adventure Learning Center

Okay, I put it out there–What are some good discussion topics for middle school girls? Here is the first response I got on Facebook– –music, clothes, dance, friendship and who’s cute-circa 1970’s –music, clothes, dance, friendship and who’s cute -using cellphones, social networking, text, -circa 2009 Here are some more– Media portrayal of girls/women Cliques Movies Books School TV shows … Read