Healthy relationships education outside of school is an important complement to in-school programming. It offers space for flexibility, creativity, and youth-leadership. But working outside of the structure of a school building and the school day presents its own challenges. Here are some tips for making your extracurricular programs succeed.
- Work with Existing Programs: Partnering with an existing organization such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America or the YMCA gives you access to existing facilities, infrastructure and standing within the community. In addition to or instead of having your own team run the curriculum, consider training Girl Scout troop leaders or after-school program staff to lead sessions. With training, they can gain the expertise to have an ongoing impact, changing the environment of their program to promote healthy relationship development and taking advantage of teachable moments.
- Get Active: In out-of-school settings, kids want and need to be physically active. Think about how to weave activity into your programs through dance, games, sports, acting and more.
- Recognize Limitations: In settings outside of school, attendance can vary widely. Groups change and evolve quickly, making a set curriculum difficult to adhere to. Try to plan freestanding activities that don’t need to be implemented in a specific order.