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The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cascade County Discover Ways to Continue Education in the Summer

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cascade County in Great Falls, MT consider themselves to be imaginative thinkers who create fun and engaging activities that are heavily infused with educational elements. The goals of making Club activities appear less like school work has become their driving force.

“When our members are elbow-deep, hands on, jumping in and experiencing activities through multiple intelligences, they are far more likely to gain the hidden agenda of education,” says Amy Langel-Braulick, the Club’s Westside Unit Director.

Hiding a learning experience in an exciting activity or game has proven to be the best route for continuing education through the summer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cascade County. With this philosophy guiding their efforts, it is simple to apply wherever needed. Also used for ultimate success are Montana’s Core Curriculum Standards and the multitude of evidence-based programs and services Boys & Girls Clubs of America makes available. A classroom is not needed for their approach. Learning disguised as fun happens in every nook and cranny of this Club so why not yours!

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Sounds of Native Language

The next time you are in a local spot that many community members frequent - stop and take a moment. Instead of hurrying to your next errand or appointment, take a mental note of the sights and sounds that surround you. What you see and hear today is vastly different from the generations before you that may have stopped in the same spot, on the same day, many years ago. The sounds and words that are heard today often times are not the words of the language that was used traditionally. It is important for the livelihood of Native languages that youth of tribal communities have exposure to such rich, cultural traditions.

So you have decided that you want to expose the youth at your Club to traditional, Native language. How are you going to take on such an important task and incorporate it into your programming? Luckily, there are resources and programs that are able to help! The Administration for Native Americans, for example, compiled a list of advice and valuable tips that were reported from a range of successful tribal language programs and Native nonprofits. A common piece of advice that was found was to include Elders in your Native language programs. This ensures that what is being passed along to the Club youth is historically accurate while giving Elders a chance to become involved with your Club. It also helps tribal members have a personal investment with the Club and the program which can promote a positive tribal relationship! Click here to read more about what it takes to implement a successful Native language program!

You are now equipped with a source that will help incorporate a language program into your Club. However, this isn’t the only resource available. Below is a compilation of articles, Websites, and active projects that want to help you keep passing down important tribal traditions to future generations.

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Taking Root in Healthy Lifestyles

The Diabetes Prevention Program of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, located in Cherokee, NC, has taken an important step towards healthier, traditional lifestyles, and nutrition through the Cherokee Choices Healthy Roots project. With the project, the Cherokee Youth Garden was created and cultivated on a one half acre plot of land located at the Kituwah mound site. Through a sturdy commitment to growing traditional crops organically and increasing youth participants’ knowledge of gardening, the project follows two important objects which are to increase availability of traditional food to the community and increase the awareness of traditional activities. Collaboration of community efforts and partnerships allow for the program to spread traditional knowledge to all generations, both young and old.

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Celebrate National Mentoring Month

Have a mentoring program at your Club? Celebrate it this month during National Mentoring Month! Mentoring programs provide youth with a stable relationship with a caring adult. Mentors can help youth with their homework, play games, teach, or just lend a listening ear. Celebrate National Mentoring Month by hosting an event for youth and mentors, an event to thank your mentors, to recruit mentors, or increase community awareness about your mentoring program. You can also learn from other mentoring professionals by attending the 2014 National Mentoring Summit. The Summit will take place January 30-31, 2014 in Arlington, VA at the Crystal Gateway Marriott.

For more ideas about celebrating National Mentoring Month and additional mentoring resources, visit the sites below. Don’t forget to email us stories about your National Mentoring Month activities at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. !

NationalMentoringMonth.org
Office of Justice Programs Mentoring Resources
MENTOR: National Mentoring Partnership
BGCA.net Mentoring Page (login required)
Corporation for National and Community Service Mentoring Page

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Raise Awareness for Bullying Prevention at your Club

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. It’s not too late to raise awareness at your Club. With nearly 30% of adolescents in the U.S. reporting some experience with bullying, educating your staff and Club members and their families about the impact of bullying is becoming increasingly more important. To fully understand the problems associated with bullying, read this infographic from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): http://1.usa.gov/12NGWZk.

In partnership with StopBullying.gov, HHS has also launched several exciting activities for Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, including:

  • Youth Engagement Event: Across the country, youth are encouraged to talk about bullying by organizing bullying prevention social and education events through youth organizations in their communities. Youth can report back on these activities through the Stop Bullying Tumblr page.
  • Media Guidelines for Bullying Prevention: Media coverage of social issues can have a widespread impact on how communities understand and address problems. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has developed media guidelines conveniently located in the newsroom of stopbullying.gov. This guidance offers help to journalists, bloggers, and others to engage in responsible reporting on this important topic.
  • Bullying Prevention Training Center: This revamped section of stopbullying.gov provides a one-stop-shop for training materials for educators and community leaders. These new materials, developed by HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are available in the training section on stopbullying.gov.
  • Dear Colleague Letter:The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague letter that provides an overview of school districts’ responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to address bullying of students with disabilities.

Stay up to date on the latest bullying prevention resources by signing up for e-mail updates from stopbullying.gov at http://bit.ly/yDPzuT. Or join the conversation by going to the StopBullying.gov Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StopBullying.Gov.