facebooktwitteryoutube
JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST VERMONT AFTERSCHOOL EVENTS

Welcome, Robin!

Posted on June 5th, 2019 in: Blog, vermontafterschool

We are thrilled to share that Robin Katrick has joined the Vermont Afterschool team as our new Youth and Community Health Coordinator.

In this role at Vermont Afterschool, Robin will be piloting the Vermont Youth Project in several Vermont communities as well as supporting afterschool programs and staff with prevention tools and resources. The Vermont Youth Project is a community-driven collaborative designed to embrace positive youth development at the local level. At the root of the Vermont Youth Project is a data collection tool that will be based off the Iceland Prevention Model and encourages parents and communities to be engaged around positive youth development. Risk and protective factors are analyzed from an annual youth survey, which allows for targeted interventions at the local level.

Robin has several years of experience in community development, program development, and community health. At the start of her career, she has spent time overseas working with rural communities on sustainable development, clean water, and education projects. In Vermont, Robin has worked in wellness with the State of Vermont and most recently worked with the University of Vermont Medical Center developing a primary prevention program in Chittenden County. Robin has her BA in Community Development and Public Health and is currently working toward her MPH. She holds certifications in facilitative leadership, health coaching, running coaching, and EFL. Robin lives in Chittenden County with her husband and two dogs and enjoys long distance running, cycling, hiking, and being outdoors.

You can reach Robin at:
robin@vermontafterschool.org or 802-448-3464

June’s Data Digest: Post High School Plans

Posted on June 1st, 2019 in: Blog

This blog post, by our Research Analyst Erin Schwab, is part of a monthly series unpacking data from the 2017 YRBS survey and making connections to out-of-school time programming in Vermont.

Happy graduation season! In the coming weeks, high school seniors around Vermont are finishing up classes and are making (or have already made) big decisions about What Comes Next. Data from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) tell us that 83% of Vermont’s high school seniors would “definitely or probably” enroll in some type of post-secondary education such as a vocational training program, military service, community college, or a four-year college. Among seniors in particular, 79% of them indicated that they would “definitely or probably” attend post-secondary education. [Note that, as of 2015 data from the Vermont Agency of Education, only 60% of Vermont students who graduated with a regular high school diploma went on to enroll in an institution of higher education within 16 months of their high school graduation date.]

We know from research that afterschool and summer learning programs contribute to college and career readiness for youth. Some programs expose youth to the idea and importance of college in direct ways by taking them on campus visits and work with families to help get the process started. Many more programs put students on the path to selecting and attending post-secondary education by providing them with opportunities to learn about careers and participate in formative experiences such as internships and community service projects. And while classroom learning provides theoretical knowledge, afterschool programs provide opportunities for students to apply their learning in tangible ways, such as by working in teams on real-world problem-solving. From attending afterschool programs, youth can gain a better idea of how to navigate their futures than those who do not.

Results from the 2017 YRBS, which was completed by about 20,000 high school students across Vermont show that among students who did not participate in any amount of afterschool programming during the 2016-17 school year, 65% were planning on pursuing post-secondary education. As the number of average weekly hours of afterschool programming increased (up to 19 hours per week), so did the percentage of students who indicated on the survey that they planned on enrolling in school beyond high school: 82% of students who attended 1-4 weekly hours of programming, 88% of students who attended 5-9 hours of weekly programming, and 91% of students who attended between 10 and 19 weekly hours of programming.

At each level of programming, the percentages of students who said they would attend post-secondary education were slightly higher for high school seniors specifically. Seventy-one percent of seniors who did not attend any afterschool programming in 2016-17 said they would enroll in post-secondary education. And as with the student body overall, these percentages also increased incrementally for each level of weekly hours of afterschool programming. Among seniors who participated in 1-4 weekly hours of programming, 87% said they would attend post secondary education; among seniors who participated in 5-9 weekly hours of programming, 91% said they would attend post secondary education; and among seniors who participated in 10-19 weekly hours of programming, 93% said they would attend post secondary education.

The 2017 YRBS data show that high school students who attend more hours of afterschool programming are more likely to say that the will “probably or definitely” attend post-secondary education such as a vocational training program, military service, community college, or a four-year college after high school. While there are many factors that contribute to students’ decisions about what path(s) to pursue after high school, we are confident that afterschool plays a positive role in helping prepare students to continue their education in prepared and intentional ways.

Read past Data Digest blog posts here:

2019 Youth4Youth Grant Awards Announced

Posted on May 2nd, 2019 in: Blog, vermontafterschool

From a cultural diversity day to building school bike trails to a writing workshop to a rabbit adoption event, 14 different youth-led projects are about to launch across Vermont thanks to the 2019 Youth4Youth Grants.

Grant amounts ranged from $100 to $3000 and were open to any Vermont youth age 10 to 22 to apply. Young people from all across the state voted on the 44 proposals and selected the 14 finalists. The 14 grant recipients were announced in April with an awards ceremony at the State House on April 12, 2019.

Miles Robbason, an 11-year-old from West Rutland, wrote a grant called “STEAMing All the Way to California.” The grant will fund his Lego Robotics team to travel to California, where his team will show off their robot they built that does autonomous missions.

“This grant is going to be really helpful for us because the cost of this experience is staggering,” explained Miles. “This is a one in a lifetime experience.”

Alia Ross, a 14-year-old from Winooski, co-wrote a grant with three other Winooski students that will create supervised areas in the Winooski Middle/High School where teens can hang out after school ends when waiting for sports practice to start, or waiting for a ride to pick them up, or simply have a safe place to be with friends or do homework.

“We’re really excited for this grant,” emphasized Ross. “We aim to get it up and running in just a few weeks.”

A project of Vermont Afterschool, the statewide Vermont Youth Council designed the grant program with the goal of inspiring youth-initiated projects that will benefit Vermont’s young people. The grant program funded proposals across Vermont that promote a wide array of rights identified in the Youth Declaration of Rights, which was written in Fall 2017 exclusively by youth between ages 9 and 22.

This is the first year of the Youth4Youth Grants, with plans to expand the grant process for the next round of funding.

“We so grateful to the Vermont Department of Health for supporting this project,” stated Vermont Afterschool Executive Director Holly Morehouse. The Department of Health provided funding for the Youth4Youth grants, as well as to Vermont Afterschool for the creation of the Vermont Youth Council and a new statewide initiative focused on elevating youth voice.

According to Morehouse, “We cannot underestimate the importance of fostering a sense of belonging for our young people, which in turn connects to healthy lives and well-being. This is an important step for our state to recognize and support our youth in helping them to feel empowered, try new things, and feel connected within their communities.”

2019 Youth4Youth Grant Awardees

$100-$1500 Projects $1500-$3000 Projects
Burke Town School Bike Trails | Burke Build bike trials on the school’s campus to provide recreational access for all students. Mi Vida, Mi Voz: A Writing Workshop | Shelburne A weekend writing workshop for migrant youth to explore their voice and connect with others.
Cultural Diversity Day | East Montpelier Spread cultural awareness to the school and greater community through a day of activities. STEAMing All the Way to California | Rutland Travel to a national Lego robotics competition to compete against and meet other teams from all over the world.
Dog-A-Thon | Shelburne A running race and dog adoption event to raise money for the Humane Society. Summer Bowling | Springfield Create weekly bowling clubs for grades K-12 during youth-led summer programming.
Never Have I Ever | Springfield Provide funding for foster families to be able to access fun community resources and experiences. Rabbit Adoption and Drop Off Agency | Shelburne Create a place where people can foster and adopt rabbits.
Reducing Hunger in Our Community | Burke Working with existing community partners to make and donate meals to those in need. The Winooski Hang-Out: A Place for Everyone After School | Winooski Provide middle and high school youth a flexible, safe and supportive space to hang out after school.
Ski Trip | Burlington A trip to Cochran’s ski area for DREAM program mentees. VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Cafe / Summer of Science | Royalton Provide science education programs both for and run by youth in their communities.
Vermont Youth Voices Rally | Waterbury Sustainability awareness and advocacy event with informational booths and activities. Winooski School Band Private Lesson | Winooski Provide private lessons for members of the school band from professional musicians.

New SEL video

Posted on May 1st, 2019 in: Blog

We’re thrilled to share our new social emotional learning (SEL) video produced by Mondo Mediaworks. This video highlights our SEL leadership and training initiative, also known as the Youth Resiliency Project, that is funded by the Northfield Savings Bank Foundation and launched in Fall 2018. This project is focused on supporting afterschool and out-of-school time programs and professionals in helping children and youth to build resiliency and SEL skills.

Many thanks to the staff and students at One Planet and Burlington Kids afterschool programs for their willingness to participate in this short video!

Vermont Afterschool’s Youth Resiliency Project is focused on supporting afterschool and out-of-school time programs and professionals in helping children and youth to build resilience and social emotional learning (SEL) skills. Our goals with this project are to:

  • Increase competency across the region so that more afterschool, summer, and out-of-school time programs are trauma-informed;
  • Create a Leadership Institute for Resilience in Afterschool (LIRA) to empower peer experts in the field; and
  • Establish networks of support for afterschool program sites so they build and sustain SEL best practices going forward via a communities of practice training model.

Impact Update March 2019:

  • To date, we have trained 219 afterschool professionals and direct service staff members in SEL and trauma-informed strategies
  • There are 5 different communities of practice running with 43 different program sites participating
  • LIRA is training 14 afterschool leaders over the course of the next six months with participants receiveing a SEL micro-credential at the conclusion
  • Thus far, 6,216 students in grades PreK-12 from a total of 47 towns across Chittenden, Orange, and Washington counties have benefitted from this Project

May’s Data Digest: Depression and Suicide

Posted on May 1st, 2019 in: Blog

This blog post, by our Research Analyst Erin Schwab, is part of a monthly series unpacking data from the 2017 YRBS survey and making connections to out-of-school time programming in Vermont.

Ah, spring. Color is finally starts to reappear in our landscapes and the excitement of warm weather and sunshine gives us all a much-needed boost. Or does it? Springtime is actually the peak time of year for suicides. While the reasons are not yet well-understood, April, May and June see a spike in suicides in the northern hemisphere (with the same phenomenon happening in the spring months of October, November and December in the southern hemisphere).

Regardless of the time of year, depressive feelings and thoughts of suicide impact people of all ages. High school students navigating social pressures, bullying, and all kinds of changes and pressure in their lives can be especially vulnerable. Fortunately, we know that opportunities for engagement within school and community such as afterschool activities are protective factors against depression and suicide for adolescents.

Results from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which was completed by about 20,000 high school students across Vermont, show a negative correlation between afterschool participation and depression, suicidal behaviors, and self-harm among youth.

One survey item asked the youth whether they felt sad or hopeless — so much so that they stopped doing regular activities — almost every day for at least two weeks in the past year. One-third of students who did not participate in any afterschool programming reported that they had this experience. Among students who participated in between one and four hours of afterschool programming, this rate dropped to 25%. And for students who participated in 5-9 hours of afterschool activities and 10-19 hours, the percentages that said they had been depressed for two weeks was 19% and 18%, respectively.

Afterschool participation was also linked with a decrease in the percentage of youth who reported hurting themselves — such as by intentionally cutting or burning themselves — at some point in the year leading up to the survey. Twenty-two percent of students who were not participating in any afterschool activities at the time of the survey reported hurting themselves at some point in the most recent year. This percentage dropped to 15% for students who participated in between one and four hours of weekly afterschool programming and to 13% for students who participated in between five and 19 hours of weekly afterschool programming.

Some high school students went so far as to make a suicide plan in the year preceding the survey. Fifteen percent of students who were not enrolled in any afterschool activities reported that they had made a suicide plan at some point. Among students who participated in between one and four hours of weekly programming, this percentage decreased to 10%. For students who participated in between five and 19 hours of weekly afterschool programming, 9% reported having made a suicide plan at some point that year.

Finally, a small but significant percentage of high school students in Vermont actually attempted suicide in the year leading up to the 2017 YRBS. Eight percent of students who were not enrolled in any afterschool activities reported that they had attempted suicide at some point. Among students who participated in between one and four hours of weekly programming, this rate decreased to 5%. For students who participated in between five and 19 hours of weekly afterschool programming, 4% reported having attempted suicide at some point that year.

While we don’t like seeing that any amount of high school students in Vermont are depressed and/or suicidal, we are encouraged by the fact that afterschool participation help bring these percentages down. The more that youth can feel connected with their school and community and have a voice, the less likely they will fall victim to depression, self-harm and thoughts and attempts of suicide.

Please note: If you know someone who is thinking about hurting themselves and/or committing suicide, reach out to the national suicide hotline (24/7) at 1-800-273-8255.

Read past Data Digest blog posts here:

April’s Data Digest: Alcohol

Posted on April 3rd, 2019 in: Blog

This blog post, by our Research Analyst Erin Schwab, is part of a monthly series unpacking data from the 2017 YRBS survey and making connections to out-of-school time programming in Vermont.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, one in 12 adults suffers from alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependence. In Vermont drinking often starts young: as recently as 2013, it had the highest level of underage drinking in the entire country. That’s right — the entire country. Seven Days VT has a great write-up on this issue in Vermont and how teenagers who drink are more likely to be addicted to alcohol as adults because of how the brain is developing.

Survey data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that while underage drinking in Vermont is still high, it has decreased significantly over the past several years. In 2008-09, 36.5% of Vermonters aged 12-20 consumed alcohol. This was the highest percentage for this age group in the country. Encouragingly, this percentage decreased to 28.1% by 2016-17 and Vermont dropped to number three in the nation for underage drinking. In fact, underage drinking has decreased for each state and for the nation as a whole in recent years.

Various programs and interventions have likely had a positive impact on rate of underage drinking. We have evidence to suggest that increased access to quality afterschool programs could be a contributing factor. The 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) surveyed about 20,000 high school students on their risk behaviors including drinking habits. The was also a question on the survey about how much time they spent in afterschool programs. The findings were encouraging.

Among youth who did not participate in any amount of afterschool programming, 34% of them admitting to drinking at least once in the month leading up to the survey. For youth that participated in between one and nine hours of weekly programming, 31% of them admitted to drinking at least once. There was also a decrease seen among youth who binge drank, and those percentages are shown in the chart below. For youth that did not participate in any afterschool activities, 6.2% admitting to binge drinking ten or more drinks at least once in the month leading up to the survey. This percentage decreased to 2.7% for youth who participated in between one and four weekly hours of programming; to 3.2% for youth who participated in between five to nine weekly hours of programming, and 3.1% for youth who participated in between ten and nineteen weekly hours of programming.

Afterschool participation also seemed to have an impact on drinking and driving among youth as well. Ten percent of high school students who drove a vehicle in the month leading up to the survey admitted to doing so while drinking alcohol (at least once). Among students who participated in between one and four weekly hours of afterschool programming, this rate percentage dropped to five percent; among students who participated in between five and nine weekly hours of afterschool programming, the rate was six percent; and among students who participated in between five and nine weekly hours of afterschool programming, the rate was five percent.

Participation in quality afterschool programming provides youth with meaningful and engaging opportunities to grow and learn in healthy ways. It is not all that surprising to us that youth who participate in such programs are less likely to drink than their peers.

Read past Data Digest blog posts here:

Funding Opportunity: Afterschool for All Grants

Posted on March 5th, 2019 in: Blog

Vermont Afterschool is proud to be working with Vermont’s Agency of Human Services to establish the Afterschool for All Grant Program. The purpose of the grant program is to support efforts to increase access to afterschool and summer learning programs in Vermont. Up to $600,000 total will be awarded through this grant process over the next two years.

Funding Guidelines

Funding will be given to projects to start or expand afterschool and/or summer learning programs in Vermont, with priority given to programs that:

  • Increase access for low-income children and youth;
  • Create or expand options in underserved areas of the state;
  • Serve adolescents and teenagers; and/or
  • Foster skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Applicants may request funding for one or two years. In year one, project funding will start June 24, 2019, and run through June 30, 2020. Projects submitting for a second year of funding must meet all grant expectations in year one. Funding for year two will start July 1, 2020, and run through June 30, 2021. It is expected that awarded grants will not exceed more than $50,000 per year; however, proposals with a documented need to exceed this amount will be accepted and considered through the Letter of Interest process.

Eligible applicants must be located in Vermont and serve children and youth in Vermont. Eligible entities include:

  • Non-profit organizations with current 501.3(c) status;
  • Schools, school districts, and supervisory unions;
  • Towns, public recreation departments, and municipal government organizations; and
  • Licensed childcare centers.

Interested entities should submit a Letter of Interest electronically by March 27, 2019. Only applicants submitting a Letter of Interest will be considered for the full proposal process. Questions? Email Tricia (triciapawlikyork@vermontafterschool.org) or call 802-448-3464.

If selected to submit a full application, applicants may be required to submit financial documentation, including a recent independent financial review and/or audit report.

Timeline and Key Dates for 2019

Wednesday, March 27: Letter of Interest Due by 5 p.m. and submitted here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Afterschool_LOI

Monday, April 22: Invitation to Submit Full Proposal Sent

Wednesday, May 15: Full Proposals Due

Monday, June 10: Grant Notifications

Monday, June 24: Project Funding Starts

Helpful Hints

  • Character counts include spaces and punctuation. Responses that go over the set character limits cannot be accepted.
  • All sections of the Letter of Interest must be completed at the time of submittal. Partially completed applications cannot be saved in the online Survey Monkey form.
  • A full list of questions is provided below to help you prepare to submit the LOI online.

Letter of Interest Questions

  1. Project Title (character limit: 100)
  2. Contact Information for Project Lead (Name, Organization, Address, City/Town, State/Province, ZIP/Postal Code, Email Address, Phone Number)
  3. Amount of funding requested per year. Please indicate if the request is for one or two years. (character limit: 100)
  4. Is this a new program or an expansion to an existing program?
  5. Project Summary (character limit: 2000).
  6. Priority Area(s) Address by the Project. Please rank the options below in regard to your proposed project with 1 indicating a top priority. If a particular area does not apply, please select N/A for that item.
  • Increase access for low-income children and youth
  • Create or expand options in underserved areas of the state
  • Serve adolescents and teenagers
  • Foster skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
  1. Age Range of the Children and/or Youth Expected to be Served (character limit: 50)
  2. Total Number of Children and/or Youth Expected to be Served (character limit: 50)
  3. Partner Organizations (character limit: 1200)
  4. Other sources of funding that will be used to support this project (character limit: 1200)

March’s Data Digest: Weight and Obesity

Posted on March 3rd, 2019 in: Blog

This blog post, by our Research Analyst Erin Schwab, is part of a monthly series unpacking data from the 2017 YRBS survey and making connections to out-of-school time programming in Vermont.

Back in September, our data blog focused on screen time and physical activity; we demonstrated that data suggest that afterschool programs are good ways to keep kids off of their screens and physically active. These findings are also related to weight and obesity as the obesity epidemic in the United States affects not only adults but also young people. A report from the National Center for Health Statistics show that nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) in the United States has obesity. Afterschool programs can play an important role in reducing this rate, and we have data to back up that claim.

In 2017-18, 97% of 21st Century Community Learning Centers reported that they provided students with at least 20 minutes of physical activity for every two hours of programming provided. Likewise, 97% also reported that they provided students with regular access to healthy snacks and clean drinking water. Physical activity and proper nutrition are key components of keeping children and youth at healthy weights. Data from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) reveal that increased weekly participation in afterschool activities among Vermont youth are correlated with a decreased likelihood that those youth will be overweight or obese, as indicated by their body-mass indexes.

Data from the 18,095 high school students that provided both their height and weight and indicated their weekly hours of participation in afterschool activities on the 2017 YRBS revealed the following: among youth that did not participate in any afterschool activities, 35% were overweight or obese. Among those who participated in between one and four hours, 25% were overweight or obese; among those who participated in between five and nine hours, 20% were overweight or obese; and among those who participated in between 10 and 19 hours, 20% were overweight or obese.

A similar downward trend is seen when looking at just obesity. Similar to the national data, roughly one in five (19%) of students who did not participate in any hours of afterschool programming were obese, as indicated by having a BMI of 30 or above. As the number of hours of participation increased, the percentage of students who were obese predicacly decreased. Eleven percent of those who participated in one to four weekly hours of programming were obese; eight percent of students who participated in five to nine weekly hours of programming were obese; and finally, seven percent of high school students who participated in between 10 and 19 hours per week of afterschool programming were obese.

We are grateful to be able to report that afterschool participation is linked with a reduced risk of high school students in Vermont being overweight or obese. Since programs are doing their part to provide active programming and healthy food options, we are working together toward a more healthy Vermont!

Read past Data Digest blog posts here:

Learning Exchange with Dr. Lasse Siurala

Posted on February 7th, 2019 in: Blog

Shorter school days, higher test scores, and more youth thriving – what can Vermont learn from Finland about helping young people succeed? From February 18 to February 22, 2019, noted Finish youth expert Dr. Lasse Siurala visited youth programs and spoke at several venues about the strategies Finland is using to help its youth gain skills for a thriving adulthood. We were so lucky to have him here and we really enjoyed the conversations he inspired throughout his travels in Vermont.

Helping Youth Succeed: Strategies from Finland with Dr. Lasse Siurala
UVM Alumni House on February 19, 2019

Why Lasse?
Finland is a country that is passionately committed to helping its youth succeed – not just in school and at work but at life. We were thrilled to have Dr. Siurala visit us, to speak with us about what Vermont can do for its young people, and share some of the positive approaches that have been so successful in Finland. Dr. Siurala is considered the Finnish father of youth work and was the Director of Youth Services in Helsinki for many years. We have much to learn from Lasse and Finland on how we can support young people in Vermont. The Finnish model is unique in that they have a short school day (until noon) and then children and youth go to afterschool or out-of-school time programs at youth/community centers. All children and youth are encouraged to find a “hobby” or interest, with trained “youth workers” supporting young people in growing up, getting ready for independent life, and feeling included in society.

What are we doing in Vermont?
The visit was hosted by Vermont Afterschool, Inc. and the VT9to26 Coalition, representing dozens of organizations with a focus on supporting Vermont’s young people. Holly Morehouse, executive director of Vermont Afterschool and manager of the VT9to26 Coalition, traveled to Finland in 2017 and 2018 in order to learn from a country with exceptional out-of-school time programming. She spent several weeks in Finland last spring touring afterschool programs, youth centers, and researching that country’s comprehensive youth strategy.

As a result of Holly’s time in Finland, she became fired up about the concept of youth voice and increasing our attention on older youth as a unique and special time of life. Born from her travels came the idea of a Youth Rights Summit, which we hosted in October 2017. At that event, Vermont youth ages 9-22 came together to co-create a Youth Declaration of Rights. Holly was inspired to start the VT9to26 Coalition, as well as a statewide youth council, a youth participatory budgeting process that is the current Youth4Youth Grant Program, and professional development opportunities for those working with older youth during the out-of-school time hours.

In 2018, Vermont Afterschool was selected by the Vermont Community Foundation as a Cornerstone Partner. This funding has enabled Vermont Afterschool to focus on closing the opportunity gap by strengthening, and expanding access to, out-of-school time programs and opportunities for older youth. We are grateful to the Vermont Community Foundation for supporting our work and the VT9to26 Coalition, which is a project housed under Vermont Afterschool.

Itinerary
Dr. Siurala presented a public lecture at the UVM Alumni House on February 19, 2019 in an event held jointly with the UVM School of Education and Social Services. A video recording of Dr. Siurala’s talk can be viewed above or here. You can watch a recap of Dr. Siurala’s week in Vermont, which was full of many activities and site visits, on this interview that aired on Channel 17.

Stay in touch
Want to hear more about the Finland model? Interested in our work? Sign up for our e-newsletters and/or join the VT9to26 Coalition. All are welcome.

About Lasse
Dr. Siurala has a long background in managing youth services on local and international levels. He is an experienced youth researcher and an expert in youth policy. He has been the Director of Youth Services at the City of Helsinki (with 300 youth workers and 60 youth centres) and the Director of Youth and Sports at the Council of Europe (with 47 member states in Europe). He is also a well known youth researcher and expert worldwide, having spoken throughout Europe and in China, Canada, and the United States. He has been an Associate Professor at Aalto University, Helsinki (today an Adjunct Professor), he has been the Howland Endowed Chair, University of Minnesota (Extension Center for Youth Development), and currently works as a lecturer of youth work at Tallinn University (Estonia) and as a Special Advisor to the Humak University of Applied Sciences (Youth Worker education in Finland).

Dr. Siurala’s areas of expertise include: managing integrated youth policies/projects; youth participation; measuring the impact of youth work/youth development (including the potential of a narrative approach); the role of youth work in Europe as as an educational field; youth work in Finland; digital youth work, and other new forms of youth work; and the role of history in understanding youth work/youth development. Some of his international publications include:

Siurala, L, Dierker, B & Mäkelä, L (2011) Chasing policy objectives, structures and resources – US and European practices in the field of youth and culture

Siurala, Lasse & Heini Turkia (2012) Celebrating pluralism: Beyond established forms of youth participation, in Loncle, Patricia et al (eds) Youth participation in Europe, Beyond discourses, practices and realities,

Siurala, L & Nöjd, T (2015) Youth Work Quality Assessment, The self and peer assessment model

Siurala, L (2015) Interprofessional collaboration: Easy to agree with, difficult to implement, Youth Partnership, Coyote nr 23, Strasbourg

Siurala, L & Coussée, F & Suurpää, L & Williamson, H (eds) (2016) The History of Youth Work in Europe, Relevance for today’s youth work policy, vol 5, Council of Europe, Strasbourg

Ord, J with M. Carletti, S Cooper, C. Dansac, D Morciano, L. Siurala and M. Taru (eds) “The Impact of Youth Work in Europe: A Study of Five European Countries (pp. 49-62), Helsinki 2018

Siurala, L. (2018) Managing Digital Youth Work, Paper presented at the InterCity Youth Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece 8-10th October 2018 (www.intercityyouth.eu)

Kalala Mabuluki, E. & Siurala, L. Lost in translation – Why aren’t integrated youth policies translated into practice? Les Cahiers de l’action – INJEP, Paris (forthcoming April 2019)

 

 

February’s Data Digest: Safe Sex

Posted on February 6th, 2019 in: Blog

This blog post, by our Research Analyst Erin Schwab, is part of a monthly series unpacking data from the 2017 YRBS survey and making connections to out-of-school time programming in Vermont.

Did you know that this month is the American Sexual Health Association’s National Condom Month? Happy February! And what does this have to do with afterschool? Glad you asked. Data from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) reveal that increased weekly participation in afterschool activities among Vermont youth are correlated with an increased likelihood that those who are sexually active youth will use protection. The data also show that increased participation in afterschool activities are linked with lower rates of sexual activity overall for youth in Vermont.

This isn’t surprising. We know from research that afterschool programs can play a positive role in reducing sexual activity among teenagers which naturally leads to fewer teen pregnancies. A December 2002 research article in Pediatrics reported that sexual behaviors among teens was less prevalent for those who were in supervised activities in the after-school hours. Among boys in particular, sexually transmitted diseases were less prevalent for the afterschool participants. Furthermore, a 2002 study of the Children’s Aid Society-Carrera program, a year-round afterschool program with a comprehensive youth development orientation in NYC showed that female program participants were significantly less likely to be sexually active and become pregnant than non-program participants. They also had significantly increased odds of having used a condoms and other forms of birth control.

In the spring of 2017 over 20,000 Vermont students in grades 9-12 took the YRBS. We were fortunate to have a question on the survey that asked youth to report the approximate number of hours that they participated in afterschool activities. There were also two questions related to sexual activity, the results of which we cross-tabulated with the results from our item about afterschool participation. The findings were encouraging:

  • Afterschool participants were less likely to be sexually active than those who did not participate in such activities.
  • Likewise, the percentage of sexually active youth who reported having unprotected sex decreased as their hours of participation in afterschool programming increased.

Here are the details of the findings: among youth that did not participate in any afterschool activities, 34% were sexually active (defined as those who had sex within the three months leading up to the survey). Among those who participated in between one and four hours, 25% were sexually active; among those who participated in between five and nine hours, 26% were sexually active; and among those who participated in between 10 and 19 hours, 29% were sexually active.

Youth who were sexually active responded to a question about whether they used a contraceptive during their most recent sexual encounter. Among students who did not participate in any afterschool programming, this rate was 10.2%. Among those who participated in between one and four hours, 6% did not use contraception; among those who participated in between five and nine hours, 4.4% did not and among those who participated in between 10 and 19 hours, 4.2% did not. It seems that youth in afterschool programming were compelled to make better and safer choices in regard to sexual activity.

In Vermont, on average, 7.2% of those who were sexually active reported that they did not use any method to prevent pregnancy during their last sexual intercourse. This was significantly lower than the national 2017 average of 13.8% of sexually active youth.

Once again, we are pleased to report that participation in afterschool activities among high school students in Vermont support lower instances of these youth engaging in risk behaviors.

Read past Data Digest blog posts here:

Join Our Email List
Join Our Email List
Visit us on Facebook

  © 2016   About Us  /  Contact Us