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Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2017 Native Summit: Integrating Culture into Club Programming Workshop

MARCH 14, 2018
BY: SIERRA FRANCIS, PROJECT COORDINATOR, YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS, FIRSTPIC, INC.

NMRC Represented at Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 2017 Native SummitThis past November, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) 2017 Native Summit held in Fort Myers, Florida was host to a variety of informational sessions, workshops, exhibitors, and cultural exchanges aimed towards Club professionals working with Native youth. After 25 years in Native Lands, BGCA is the nation’s largest youth service provider for Native youth, with a network of nearly 200 Boys & Girls Clubs that serve over 86,000 youth from 100 different American Indian, Alaska Native, American Samoan and Hawaiian Tribal communities.

Due to the unique conditions of working in Native communities, topics for workshops were carefully considered for their relevancy and impact. Topics offered ranged from lifestyle trends with Native youth, best practices for Club programming, and ideas for integrating culture into the Club. Of these, integrating culture generated some of the highest levels of interest from Club staff members, who are especially cognizant of the role culture and identity play in the lives of their youth. Facilitated by BGCA Native Services Director of Organizational Development Anna Bear, the session had a panel of three Boys & Girls Club executive directors present to speak on this very important topic. Executive Directors included Ron Corn of the Woodland Boys & Girls Club in Neopit, Wisconsin, Tamara Little Salt of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Nathan Hale of the Boys & Girls Club of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation in Mayetta, Kansas.

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NMRC Represented at Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 2017 Native Summit

FEBRUARY 14, 2018
BY: SIERRA FRANCIS, PROJECT COORDINATOR, YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS, FIRSTPIC, INC.

NMRC Represented at Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 2017 Native SummitThis past November, I had the privilege of attending Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2017 Native Summit held in Fort Myers, Florida. Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is celebrating an incredible 25 years of Native Clubs! This event marked the anniversary of a journey that started in 1992 with the establishment of the first Native Boys & Girls Club.

Today, 25 years later, BGCA is the nation’s largest youth service provider for Native youth. The campaign that began with one Club has since grown into a national network of nearly 200 Boys & Girls Clubs that serve over 86,000 Native youth, from 100 different American Indian, Alaska Native, American Samoan and Hawaiian Tribal communities.

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National Mentoring Month: Tools to Help You Celebrate and Activate Your Community

JANUARY 11, 2017
BY: DELIA HAGAN, MENTOR: THE NATIONAL MENTORING PARTNERSHIP
National Mentoring Month: Tools to Help You Celebrate and Activate Your Community

How does your mentoring program recognize National Mentoring Month? For those of us who are less familiar, National Mentoring Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about the need for mentors, as well as how each of us can work together to increase the number of mentors to help ensure positive outcomes for our young people. This campaign also celebrates mentoring and the positive effect it can have on young lives, and it’s a great time for mentoring programs to recognize the power of mentoring relationships, celebrate the work of exceptional mentors, spread awareness about the impact of your work and show members of your community how they can get involved.

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Research Alert: Study Explores Program Staff Perceptions of Mentoring Relationship Quality

DECEMBER 28, 2017
BY: DELIA HAGAN, MENTOR: THE NATIONAL MENTORING PARTNERSHIP

A 2017 study by Dutton, Deane and Bullen out of the University of Auckland examines the different perspectives of mentors, youth and program staff in a New Zealand school-based mentoring program, and their perceptions about the quality of the mentoring relationships. The study posits that gathering information from program staff can provide a more nuanced picture of how a mentoring relationship is going, when considered alongside self-reports from mentors and mentees. It also suggests that data gathered from program staff can enrich mentoring research, and that more research is needed to understand how program staff assess the quality of relationships, since those with accurate perceptions of relationship quality are better positioned to intervene and provide additional support to youth and their mentors when needed. Learn more about the study here.

Do you agree? Does your mentoring program collect and apply the perspectives of program staff in assessing the quality of the mentoring relationships between youth and their mentors? How is this information collected and used in your work?

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Research Alert: Study Explores School-Based Mentoring Program Outcomes, and the Impact of Mentee Expectations

DECEMBER 28, 2017
BY: DELIA HAGAN, MENTOR: THE NATIONAL MENTORING PARTNERSHIP

A 2017 study conducted by David Laco and Wendy Johnson may be of interest to mentoring practitioners implementing school-based mentoring programs. The study was conducted with first and second year students attending a private high school in Bratislava, Slovakia who were paired with mentors (mostly teachers) who they selected themselves. The students, who were required to participate in the program, were asked to report on the quality of the mentoring environment (QME), and those with a higher QME rating tended to also report a higher degree of engagement with school. They also tended to perceive the discussion of personal matters as more beneficial. These trends were not seen with regard to academic discussions or benefits. More positive expectations about the program were also associated with higher QME, such that the researchers posit that a sort of “self-fulfilling prophecy” may influence these outcomes. Learn more about the study here.

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