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Urban Youth Mentorship Programs

Urban Youth Mentorship Programs

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Published by openroadpark
This curriculum is copyright 2011. You may download, edit and use. Please share modifications. Only non-commercial use and modifications are permitted, with attribution reguired. credit to Open Road.
This curriculum is copyright 2011. You may download, edit and use. Please share modifications. Only non-commercial use and modifications are permitted, with attribution reguired. credit to Open Road.

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Published by: openroadpark on Feb 07, 2011
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Urban Youth Curriculum
Mentorship based programs: school-day, afterschool, park-based camps and traveling camps
Goal:
Youth arts, skateboarding, BMX, music, writing, and environmental studies are integrated with professional design, stewardship, and physical improvements in public parks to create camp + afterschoolmentorship programs. Mentorship programs are custom tailored according to youth, park, neighborhood,sponsor, and educational needs and interests.Every month of the year events are held all over the city in parks. These events bring energy, funding, and people into the park. However, there is usually no sustained involvement of youth before and after these events.The event leaves and the park and community are in the same shape, or worse, than before. Urban Youth wascreated to provide something better than this to youth and the rest of the community where events are held.Arts, skateboarding, BMX, and other cultural events can put wear on the park and create desires for improvedmaintenance, new amenities, and ongoing programming that are not fulfilled. Temporary skate parks, foodkiosks, and beautiful event areas are dismantled and taken away, leaving a void. Open Road created the UrbanYouth curricula to provide intellectually rigorous programs before, during, and after these events that serveneighborhood youth and improve the park environment for the entire community. Before and after events UrbanYouth supports camps and after school programs outdoors in the parks where the events are held. Travelingfrom park to park is a core activity. Community youth and adults are paid to mentor youth in these programs, providing challenging professional employment and high quality peer led programs. Permanent park improvements, made by the Urban Youth teams in partnership with the agency, improve the environment for all.In 2010 Open Road has been dramatically expanding our team of youth leaders, the number of youth led events,and the parks and gardens that are sites for our Urban Youth mentorship curriculum. Our curriculum is carriedout with effective leadership by a senior youth crew from previous years. These mentors, aged 16 and up,recruit directly in the parks we work in and organize a team of a dozen youth aged 10 to 15. An adult leader supports each team. In the summer months a camp is established in the park with this team. During the schoolyear this team is the core group of our after school programs.Urban Youth is currently expanding directly because of popular demand from youth participants. After manyyears of attracting a small committed core team, we worked with this team to hold such successful events in2008 that in 2009 and 2010 we needed to provide for up to 1,000 youth attendees at each event we held in our  parks. This created a demand for additional youth leaders to plan and run activities at these events, and newyouth stepped up to this challenge, while keeping the relationship with our experienced youth mentors. We arevery pleased with this progress.We have kept the Urban Youth curricula and structure from previous years, and this has proven to be effective.Our Urban Youth process has provided continuity and a solid foundation, and we have been able to carry outthe same process even when scaled up to much higher numbers of youth leaders, youth participants, and parks.As in previous years, Urban Youth has been leading mentor-based camps and after school programs, andrecruiting and mentoring new youth leaders primarily through our series of events in parks. In 2010 weincreased the number of events to 12, from 6 in previous years. These event sites are Commodore Barry Park,Open Road Rooftop, Open Road Park, Manhattan Bridge Skate park, Thomas Jefferson Park, Squibb Park,Thomas Greene Park, Maria Hernandez Park, and Betsy Head Park. Again, this was in direct response to youthdemand. At these events and sites we have been carrying out research, increasing our advocacy work withagencies and partners, planning new events, and making youth identified environmental improvements to public parks.
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In 2010 we saw new synergy and collaboration between youth projects created by Urban Youth participants and partners. Urban Youth provided support to these projects at a crucial period in their development. Blockstar, theenvironmental club at Bro/Sis, and Harold Hunter Foundation are among the non-profit youth focused groupswe worked closely with in 2010. We helped Blockstar at their first event in Brooklyn through Urban Youth in2009, and this year we supported Blockstar in bringing a public event to Bro/Sis in Harlem. Harold Hunter Foundation, founded in honor of one of our late Lower East Side youth skateboarders, worked with us to bringyouth stewards from Open Road Park to Woodward Camp. Woodward is now working to support Urban Youthgoals. Therefore, we can report that we have been meeting our 2010 goals for Urban Youth, which involveexpanding our youth base due to strong interest amongst youth participants, strengthening our partner relationships, doubling the number of events our youth teams have led to a dozen and making environmentalimprovements to new parks citywide with our youth team.
2010 Urban Youth Mentorship Programs and Activities
In 2010 Open Road has expanded support for youth mentors with
a dozen camps and free youth events in NYC  parks
. Each of these events has encouraged stewardship and improved the natural and built environmentthrough fun and challenging activities popular with young people. Art, skateboarding, music and writing programs were integrated with stewardship, repair, and environmental improvements. We expanded support of our senior youth crew from the youth staff of previous years, and we expanded our relationships with localyouth groups as Urban Youth partners. Urban Youth recruited and mentored new youth leaders, carried outresearch, increased our advocacy work with agencies and partners, led
 
events, and made youth identifiedenvironmental improvements to public parks. We expanded Urban Youth to new neighborhoods at the requestof local youth group partners.Using Open Road Park as a base, we engaged a core team of 12 youth leaders between the ages of 6 and 18 and6 adults and seniors to work on a series of 12 events at parks around New York City. This core team has beenworking intensively with an additional 10 youth and 5 adults at each park event site. At each park 2 local youthleaders/1 adult at each park are involved in a leadership role. We envision these youth and adults as futureleaders at their own park, and in our citywide network. In 2010 these parks have included Commodore BarryPark in Brooklyn, Thomas Jefferson Park in Harlem, Thomas Greene Park in Gowanus, Open Road Rooftop inManhattan, Open Road Park in Manhattan, Squibb Park in Brooklyn, Manhattan Bridge Skatepark, Betsy HeadPark in Brownsville, Pier 62 in Manhattan, and Maria Hernandez Park in Brooklyn. These events and activitieshave all been free and open to the public and each event has been improving the natural and built environmentin the park in which it is held.
Urban Youth mentor-based camps, events and environmental improvements in 2010:
1.
Open Road at AfroPunk Camp: Commodore Barry Park and PS 20
A team of 2 adults, 12 youth leaders, and 12 youth participants from Commodore Barry Park and thesurrounding neighborhood led the curriculum below for one month before Afro-Punk and for 2 days of thefestival.Goal: Art, skateboarding, BMX, are integrated with design, stewardship, and environmental improvements in a public park to create a high quality camp, festival and after school program. Participants use a structured 5 stepParticipatory Design process that will be used by the local team for ongoing community improvements.
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Curriculum Outline
for Afro-Punk Open Road camp before, during, and after the Afro-Punk FestivalOrganizing, Fact Finding, Generating Ideas, Creating a Program Design, Leading the Program
Organizing
Assessment of community assets and needs. Assessment of Commodore Barry Park assets and needs.Broad outreach within the park, inside Farragut and Ingersoll Houses, PS 287, Khalil Gibran Academy, PS 261,PS 20, Academy of Arts and Letters, Parham Park.Focused outreach: approach people skateboarding, biking, and playing in the park and invite them to the teamForm the team of local youth participants in the pre-event camp, Afro-Punk, and in post event activitiesForm the team of local leaders of the pre-event camp, and all other activitiesDetermine people’s interests, skills, and roles in the programMake needed revisions in organizing plan and proceed to Fact Finding
Fact Finding and Generating Ideas
Learn about Farragut Houses and neighborhood present, past, and desires for future changes.Measure Commodore Barry Park and produce digital pix/maps of the festival area and the neighborhood.Interview neighbors, school principals, program leaders, and youth on improvements to Commodore BarryProvide Festival site layout, schedule, and plan to youth teamPlan program activities at festival together with the youth teamLead a full day design and outreach family festival at PS 20 on Afro-Punk festival and Commodore BarryLearn about PS 20 and produce maps of the Afro-Punk outreach/family festival area and the neighborhood.
Create a Program Design
With the youth team, create a program for 4 days before the Afro-Punk festival. Activities include; outreach,skateboarding that meets NY State Standards in Physical Education, biking, participating in baseball games atthe park, art, architecture, and mapping activities with children and teenagers within Commodore Barry.
Leading the Program
Local youth leaders of the pre-event camp, Afro-Punk youth programs, and post event activities at CommodoreBarry Park, PS 20, and the surrounding neighborhoods: Olu Wallace, Nikios Wallace, Steven Lora, MichaelRivas, Anthony Rodriguez, Taji Ameen, Dave Willis/BD, Kane Cameron, Mory Kamara, Stephan Martinez,Denzel France, Victor Thomas, Tarela Kelvin E, Wade Yates, Patrick Reid, Fiddy Brown, Joseph Delgado,Rodney Torres, Rob Campbell, Tim Rutgers, Keith White, Billy Rohan, Paula Hewitt Amram, Aswad Foster.A youth team and 5 adults led a program for the Afro-Punk festival’s 20,000+ attendees. All attendees wereinvited to participate in the Open Road at Afro-Punk youth program.At Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn we created a youth arts and skateboarding zone that was the center of youth activities during the three day long AfroPunk festival. 12 youth from our core team, 10 additional youthand 5 adults and seniors recruited directly from Commodore Barry Park in the months leading up the thefestival, all worked together on the festival overall, youth programs in particular and on environmentalimprovements to Commodore Barry Park.The Commodore Barry Park program during the festival had two key components. 1. A broad effort to providea rich attractive youth area, where graffiti arts, fiber art, doll making, martial arts and environmental studies areintegrated with skateboarding. The design of the “pop-up” youth space itself encouraged youth to interact witheach other and with people of all ages. 2. A focused curricula on Skateboarding.On the following page we describe how our Skateboarding Physical Education programs meet NY Statestandards. This is the model for our curricula in each of our core content area.
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