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Citycology and Steward Team Camp

“I would like to thanks the camp counselors, and interns for their outstanding work at Solar Youth. The camp counselors were very professional, knowledgeable, approachable and a great example to the kids at camp. Great Job Solar Youth -Citycology Parent


The Solar Youth Summer Camp is a summer program open to youth 5 -13 across the city of New Haven. The program employs high school-aged youth to work as Youth Educators. The summer camp was divided into two camps - Citycology Program for 5-8 year olds and Steward Team for 9-13 year olds. The Citycology Program is a youth-teaching-youth program that enlists the talents of the Youth Educators to instruct and mentor younger youth. In Steward Teams, 9-13 year olds build on what they learned and accomplished in Citycology. Steward Team members learn more complex environmental issues and concepts, participate in their first camping trips and tackle a more sophisticated 9-step Community Service Action Project (CSAP). As youth get older, they are given leadership roles in Steward Teams, helping the adult and teen staff lead games, and guide fellow participants through the C-SAP process. Like all Solar Youth programs, the main goal of Citycology and Steward Team is to provide supports and opportunities to youth that help them develop the skills and competencies to be happy and healthy stewards of their communities and own lives. Paid Youth Educator Interns help lead the programs, with adult staff at their side. This partnership between Youth Educators and adult Educators is a core relationship for all programs, benefitting both parties as they work together to teach curriculum and lead activities to the youth. Citycology was held four days a week and Steward Team was held five days a week during the summer of 2013, running from July 1st to August 2nd. The program took place at one of our partner schools; Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School, located next to West River Memorial Park in New Haven, as well as at many local locations where youth explored the many activities New Haven has to offer. Summer Camp follows Solar Youth’s unique program model: Kids Explore! Kids Do! Kids Teach! In this model, youth investigate the local ecology of their community (Kids Explore!), identify environmental issues that affect the health of people and the natural environment, and seek solutions through a process of problem-solving and youth led action (Kids Do!), then teach what they have learned and accomplished to others through public education projects (Kids Teach!). The expected outcomes for youth campers are: ď ś A demonstrated development of, at minimum, eight of the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets (the building blocks of positive youth development, the possession of which has shown to have significant effect on youth's ability to resist negative influences and achieve success in adult life). The Developmental Assets we measure are within the categories of 'constructive use 1


of time,' 'empowerment,' 'commitment to learning,' 'positive values,' and 'social competencies.'  A demonstrated increase in environmental knowledge and commitment to environmental stewardship. In addition, outcomes for Youth Educators include:  A demonstrated increase in understanding of best principles and practices of youth development.  A demonstrated development of employability skills, such as timeliness, public speaking, personal financial management, work ethic and a commitment to excellence. Finally, as a result of implementation of youth-led Community Service Action Projects (C-SAPs) and Public Education Projects (PEPs), Solar Youth Summer Camp contributes to an ecologically healthier and more environmentally conscious City of New Haven and its environs.

During the Summer Camp of 2013… Hours of program offered Teenage youth hired Total youth enrolled Out-of-Neighborhood Adventure Trips Youth-led Community Service Action Projects (C-SAPs) Youth-led Public Education Projects (PEPs)

144 13 69 10 4 3

PROGRAM DEMOGRAPHICS Female Male

38 31

African-American Latino/a Caucasian Other

50 13 2 2

Citycology at Hammonasset State Park

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Summer Camp 2013 Curriculum The theme for the summer was Connecticut Weather        

Wind Curriculum (Anemometers) Air Pressure Cloud Conditions Weather Jeopardy Forest Fire Ecology Extreme Weather Preparedness Game Watersheds Volcanoes

       

Green House Gas Game Long Island Sound and climate change Precipitation Nation Carbon Footprint Wetlands ROYGBIV and Refraction Good bye glaciers Night Experiments / Rhodopsin

   

Listening Skills Cooperation Building Motor Skills Team Building

Developmental topics addressed included:    

Literacy Emotional Intelligence Empathy Kindness/Making Friends

Intern Zaria teaching about point source pollution

Kids Explore! As part of every Solar Youth program season, youth not only have a chance to explore their local ecology, but they also participate in several out-of-neighborhood explorations! 3


Summer Explorations Edgewood Park Lighthouse Point West River Memorial Park

Descriptions Youth road their bikes through edge wood while getting an opportunity to observe wildlife as well as river ecology. Youth had a fun day playing games, exploring the beach, getting wet in the splash pad and playground time. The highlight of the trip was the time at judges cave . Great day the youth enjoyed the Mobile Weather Lab visit , doing their CSAP and closing up with a dance party

West Woods Park, Branford Youth learned the group hiking etiquettes East Rock Park

The groups created a board game, a matching game and a game with movement to teach others about weather.

Hammonasset

Youth learned about invasive and native species of crabs including the the Asian and Green Crab. They also learned about the intertidal zones and about the importance of a salt marshes to ecosystems.

Lighthouse Point East Haddam State Park WTNH Tour Thimble Islands

Fun day of inter camp large group games, Field day, beach exploration and splash pad fun. Great camping trip weather held up for great evening of campfire activities and camping . Great trip to WTNH youth saw the noon news broadcast live in the studio. Youth learned about the history of Outer island and also the species of birds and crabs that lived on the island.

Sam, Adult Educator, plays with the youth in the water park at Lighthouse Point

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Kids Do! After exploring their outdoor surroundings and participating in adventures further afield, youth identify an environmental or community issue they want to tackle, brainstorm solutions, develop plans to address the issue they have chosen and then implement and evaluate their project! We call this the Community Service Action Project (C-SAP) Cycle. Engaging in the C-SAP Cycle allows youth to hone their problem-solving skills, cultivates in them an identity as agents of positive change and makes their community a healthier and more beautiful place to live! Summer Community Service Action Projects Storm Drain Clean Up Extreme Weather Preparedness Acid Rain

Descriptions Youth identified the clogging of strom drains as a cause for flooding and pollution. Youth decided to create a brochure to educate others on how to be prepared for extreme weather. They also organized bake sale to raise funds to purchase flash lights and ponchos to donate. Youth decided to create a flyer to teach others about how acid rain is created and the effects on nature as well as what we can do to reduce the amount of acid rain.

Kids Teach! Stewards conclude the season by developing Public Education Projects (PEPs) that educate their peers, parents and general public about environmental and community issues that they care about. By designing and executing a PEP, youth have the opportunity to be recognized as public “experts” on important issues and “re-learn” important lessons from the earlier part of the season. Summer Public Education Projects Team Sunny Teach posters Team Windy Extreme Weather Preparedness Brochure Team Rainy Acid Rain Dioramas

Descriptions Youth created four posters with pictures and fun facts about storm drain pollution and what they did to address the issue. Youth created brochures to help people to be prepared for extreme weather. The brochures comprised of a checklist of things you will need or need to know when experiencing a hurricane, blizzard or tornado. Youth created three dioramas to show people what the world would look like with no acid rain.

Citycology youth exploring the beach at Lighthouse and learning about the Long Island Sound!

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Solar Youth’s Evaluation Process Solar Youth measures its programs with a combination of evaluation tools, including (for Citycology) Portfolios (evidence and examples of youth community service and public education work), Family Feedback Forms, Community Feedback Forms, and exit interviews. The Family Feedback Forms are based on best-practice evaluation tools developed by the Search Institute.

Feedback from Stewards and Parents CATEGORY Youth Development Outcomes Prompt: “Because of Solar Youth…” Empowerment  Because of Solar Youth, the community values Solar Youth participants  Because of Solar Youth, participant is given useful roles in the community Commitment to Learning  Because of Solar Youth, participant is actively engaged in learning  Because of Solar Youth, participant wants to do well in school Positive Values  Because of Solar Youth, participant places a high value on helping others  Because of Solar Youth, participant is more accountable for his/her actions Social Competencies  Because of Solar Youth, participant’s planning and decision making skills have improved  Because of Solar Youth, participant has learned to be a better friend  Because of Solar Youth, participant is more sensitive to the feelings of others Environmental Outcomes  Because of Solar Youth, participant’s knowledge about the environment improved  Because of Solar Youth, participant is more responsible about the effect he/she has on the environment

% OF YOUTH WHO AGREED

% OF PARENTS WHO AGREED

67%

90%

83%

90%

92%

95%

96%

90%

75%

90%

71%

90%

83%

85%

79%

85%

83%

85%

88%

N/A

92%

N/A

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Quality Assurance  I would recommend Solar Youth to my friends/other parents  I would like to (see my child) attend Solar Youth next season

88% 83%

100% 100%

Citycology and Friends of Edgewood Park after planting daffodils at West River Memorial Park

Intern Feedback CATEGORY Youth Educator Skills Outcomes “Participation in Solar Youth…”  Prepared me to use a lesson plan to deliver lessons through experiential (hands-on) education.  Prepared me to practice positive behavior management.  Helped me to develop skills as a group facilitator.  Prepared me to implement activities that involve multiple intelligences.  Helped me to attain greater knowledge of principles of environmental education. Employability Skills Outcomes “After being an intern in Solar Youth…”  I feel that my timeliness has improved.  My preparation skills have improved.  My public speaking skills have improved.  My personal financial management skills have improved.  My work ethic has improved.  My commitment to excellence has improved.

% OF INTERNS WHO AGREED

100% 92% 75% 100% 75%

92% 100% 100% 92% 83% 100% 7


Long-Term Impact of Solar Youth “My overall experience with Solar Youth, both this season and in the past, has…”  Prepared me for future employment.  Encouraged me to continue my education.  Encouraged me to live a healthier lifestyle.  Motivated me to seek out opportunities to help my community.  Helped me to develop a more positive sense of self.  Taught me to consider the impact of my actions on the health of the environment.

100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 88%

From left to right: Edgewood Biking Trip and the boat trip to the Thimble Islands

Quotes and Testimonials Summer Camp Participants: “(Because of Solar Youth) I get to have fun during the summer and learn new things everyday” “(Because of Solar Youth) I am braver and I have more friends” “My favorite part of the program is going on field trips and playing kick ball with other campers” “From doing my CSAP I learned that if storm drains are clogged this can cause a flood” Parents: “Joel is more open to new friendships and different environments. He has been going to a small private school, so this environment got him excited and willing to try public school in September” “Lilly is more interested in the weather, she now watches the weather channel. She has also started a rock collection. She enjoyed learning about the clouds and visiting WTNH” “They all have become more open about their daily lives and how they are learning new things and applying them to their daily lives. Georgia leaned about electricity as also eager to start recycling more” “She has become more outgoing and is interested in learning about nature, we have a trip planned to visit Dinosaur State Park” 8

Summer 2013 Program Outcome report  

Solar Youth highlights from 2013's summer camps!

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