We found that working in schools, where we could implement the same curriculum in every classroom and every school, to be easier than working with after-school programs. Although it was more difficult, the after-school setting forced us to try new and unique ways to engage youth and partner organizations. All of our hard work and dedication lead to some great successes.
For example, we partnered with Girl Scouts to run an online book club for girls but encountered challenges encouraging girls to consistently participate. But, when we created a “healthy relationships” badge that Girl Scouts could earn by participating in activities, we saw great participation.
We thought coaches at community centers would be another great way to engage kids after school. However, we learned that most coaches were not comfortable talking with kids about these issues and others outside their area of expertise. We discovered a better use of our resources was to build the capacity of leaders and staff in youth organizations to be able to promote healthy relationship skills and behaviors.