Developing Youth-Led Activities
Quality after school programs incorporate what is commonly referred to as a youth development approach. This approach focuses on what children and youth need as they mature into responsible, caring adults. All effective youth programs have youth development at their core. Youth Development is not offered as a separate program or program component, it is a philosophy in which the principles are intentionally practiced and applied through actions and encompass everything done.
Effective youth leadership programs build on solid youth development principles with an emphasis on those areas of development and program components that engage and support youth leadership. Simply stated, Youth Development is a philosophy and an approach – it is not something done to or for youth, but something done with youth.