One of the great things about the Youth Program (XYZ) at the Community Center is that it’s not just a place to hang out where kids feel safe to be themselves. It’s a place that offers opportunity to those kids that want it.
The Youth Leadership Council that we’re creating in conjunction with Vermont After School, Inc is such and opportunity. E=MC2 was awarded a $3000 grant to encourage youth voices in their communities and to introduce and practice a process soliciting ideas, selecting ideas, funding ideas and implementing youth driven ideas called, Participative Budgeting.
If you’re a kid it doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but that’s why it’s our job, as the adults, to make it fun. Because it is fun and it’s useful and it’s a great experience of leadership, decision making, creativity and a cool introduction into how to get your voice heard in our society.
We had an ice cream and burger party to introduce the concept and then we put it out there and 6 youths from the center signed up to travel to Bethel, Vermont this past Tuesday to find out more about what the heck this things is, to meet some people from Finland who have been doing this type of youth participatory process for two decades and to meet other young people and adults in Vermont who are trying to build the same thing.
You will be hearing more from our Leadership Council in the coming weeks as they decide how they’re going to solicit ideas from the kids in our community and how they’re going to support the ideas becoming real. The Council is still open for kids who want to join and our next meeting is Monday, October 21st at 3:30 at the Center.
In the meantime check out the picks from our trip (we got to miss school!! and had pizza and ice cream on top of learning some new stuff).