Five Key Elements For Positive Youth Development
We have learned that the level of impact a Club has on young people depends on how often and how long members participate, as well as how well the Club implements the following five key elements:
1. Safe, Positive Environment – Club staff, facilities, program and age-appropriate settings create stability, consistency and a sense of physical and emotional safety for members. The Club provides structure and clearly defines acceptable behaviors.
2. Fun – Club generates fun for members. Members develop a strong sense of belonging through connections they establish with staff and peers. Staff members make the Club feel like home, fostering a family atmosphere and creating a sense of ownership for members.
3. Supportive Relationships – Club youth develop meaningful relationships with peers and adults. Staff members actively cultivate such relationships to ensure that every member feels connected to one or more adults and peers. Staff members demonstrate warmth, caring, appreciation, acceptance and proper guidance in their connections with members.
4. Opportunities and Expectations – Club youth acquire physical, social, technological, artistic and life skills. Clubs encourage members to develop a moral character and behave ethically. Staff members establish and reinforce high expectations and help young people do well in school and pursue a post-secondary education.
5. Recognition – Clubs recognize and support young people’s self-worth and accomplishments. Staff members encourage youth and provide positive reinforcement as they make improvements and experience successes. The Club showcases young people’s achievements.