Join Us to Celebrate Jutta!

We still can’t believe we’re saying this, but please join us (via Zoom) on Wednesday, June 23, 12:00-12:30, to say farewell to Jutta!

Share a story! Share a memory! Wish her well as she embarks on her next adventure! Look for the Zoom link in your email.

Jutta has connected us all across New York State, bringing clarity, curiosity, humor, and deep knowledge to all she does. We don’t want to say goodbye but we do want to celebrate her amazing career and thank her for all she has shared with us.

We hope to see you Wednesday! You can also leave a comment on this post.

Best,

The ACT for Youth Team

Provider Spotlight: Video Productions for Youth, by Youth

The CAPP Team from Northwell Health LIJ/CCMC is proud to present our latest student-led videos. To reduce barriers to sexual health services, our project is lucky to partner with Connected Health Solutions to support students in creating their own PSA-style video for our school-based health centers. The project began in February 2020 and was cut short with school closures in March 2020. Once it was clear that NYC schools would mostly operate virtually, we made adjustments to the script and filming process to be virtual and safe for student actors and crew.

EC Video

For the film on Emergency Contraception (EC), our male students expressed their curiosity about EC and how it is used. It was important to our group to encourage male partners to take an active role in supporting their partners’ birth control choices – even if not completely informed, as in our video! And using humor is always a great way to get a message across!

Emergency Contraception video

Online Safety Video

For our longer middle school film, each student was filmed separately and cut together to look like one continuous screen capture. This was a new process not only for our students, but for our team and the director! The students were explicit about their desire to have a film that didn’t have a happy ending – they felt it would be inauthentic and cheesy. After the film “premiered” at the school assembly, our site educator, Anne van der Veer, played the video for every advisory class and facilitated a group discussion about being safe online. It prompted conversations about online learning, social media, sexting, and safety. Anne found that each grade took away a different lesson based on their age and maturity level – so we were happy to see the film was suitable for different ages.

I See You video

More Resources

We are so proud of our students’ contributions and are grateful for the support we received from the schools to complete this project. Please check out our library of videos on YouTube along with the two main videos above! If you are interested in the facilitation guide for “I See You,” please email Amanda Ferrandino (aferrandin@northwell.edu).

~ Amanda Ferrandino

Welcome Back to In-Person Programming: A Guide to Safe Return

As we look to reopen the doors to schools, community centers, and youth spaces to welcome youth back to in-person programming, we put a few resources together to help you plan and prepare for this experience. We recognize that every provider’s in-person programming space may look different and that ultimately you’ll be asked to follow the safety guidelines and protocols of your individual hosts. Still, we wanted to provide resources, helpful tips, and suggestions to help you remain as safe as possible and stay committed to delivering a quality program. 

As always you can start with our ACT site:

In-Person Implementation of EBPs during COVID-19

Please note that we looked to provide the most recent and up to date information, acknowledging that new safety guidelines could be added in the very near future. Where possible on the web resources below, please look for the date posted to ensure you’re flowing the most current information possible. 

CDC: How to Protect Yourself and Others

CDC: Schools and Child Care Programs: Plan, Prepare, and Respond

NYC Health: COVID-19: Guidance for Businesses and Schools

NYC Health: Checklist for In-Person Instruction

Marisol De Leon

~ Marisol

ACT in Transition

I’m writing to let you know about transitions that will be happening during this year.  Jutta Dotterweich, our long-term Director of Training and TA, will be retiring in June 2021.  Jutta has been with ACT for Youth since it began in July of 2000 and has built our training program.  She has been an extraordinary leader of our training/TA efforts – whose vast knowledge of positive youth development, and vision for how best to build capacity to promote adolescent health and prevent risky behaviors, has been appreciated by generations of youth workers, educators and colleagues across NYS and beyond.  To say she will be missed is an understatement!

As we move forward during this transition period, some of Jutta’s responsibilities will be passed on to Mary Maley. An experienced trainer with expertise in evidence-based programming, Mary has been with ACT for Youth since 2011, most recently leading our CDC-funded research. Mary will provide research support for developing training and web resources, cover Jutta’s caseload of provider assignments and take on additional training responsibilities as needed. She will join Heather, Michele and Marisol on the training/TA team.

We will miss Jutta but rest assured you  will continue to receive our expertise and support in meeting your goals and needs.

Jane Powers

~ Jane Powers, Director

Moving to Virtual Implementation of EBPs?

In recent months we have talked a lot about virtual implementation of evidence-based programs. Re-opening plans for schools and community-based youth organizations have been varied and challenging. Conditions have changed frequently and at times abruptly.

To address these complexities, and with fidelity and quality delivery of EBPs in mind, we have developed implementation strategies and tools that will help you plan and prepare for a successful virtual implementation.

Steps to consider

  1. Investigate what the implementation conditions are at the implementation site – use the preparation checklist to plan and prepare for virtual or hybrid implementation.
  1. Use the EBP templates to develop your virtual presentation. These templates are newly updated. Find the templates for each synchronous module, and information about how to access and use the asynchronous templates, here:

BPBR Virtual Implementation

MPC Virtual Implementation

  1. Complete the virtual implementation plan to document how you modify the program and adapt to specific site conditions. You may have to do a different plan for each site.
  1. Send the virtual implementation plan to your ACT TA provider for review and discussion.

  1. Once approved, you can start implementing and refer to the virtual implementation plan when you enter cycle data into the ORS.

Virtual presentations are quite different from in-person presentations.

In our recent virtual presentations skills workshops we identified and discussed lots of potential technical and personal delivery issues. We highly recommend that presenters prepare thoroughly and practice.  Consider building in time for an extra introductory session with young people to do warm-up or team-building activities and practice the interactive features of the platform you are using. Young people may not be familiar with some of these features. Interacting and communicating via technology may take more time than you may expect. We recommend adding 2-3 extra sessions to your EBP implementation schedule.

Here are two additional tools to help you plan and prepare:

Let us know if you have any questions.

~ Jutta

Regional Provider Meetings

We are changing it up!

Over the past months many of you have participated in various work groups and ACT virtual training events and explored online platforms and material. As we are all learning, to stay alert and engaged online you have to change things up–so that’s what we’re going to do!

In October we will be hosting regional provider meetings. This idea actually came from you. In recent weeks several providers suggested organizing virtual regional provider meetings. ACT will host the meetings but the agenda and discussion will be set by you. This will be an opportunity to discuss outreach efforts, implementation challenges, and working with schools and community-based organizations in this new era of COVID-19. And you can talk about specific regional issues that impact your work. You can share successes, resources, and challenges and engage in joint problem solving.

Participation is voluntary. CAPP, PREP, and SRAE educators and supervisors are welcome. We have divided upstate into three groups and downstate into five groups (see regional provider meeting groups document below), although if you feel a stronger affinity with another region (especially upstate) you are free to join another provider meeting.

We scheduled all provider meetings on Fridays. The reading club will be on hold for the month. Let’s see how this works. After the first round the regional groups may decide on different times and days.

Start-up will be October 9!

Jutta Dotterweich

~ Jutta

Introducing Work Groups and Reading Club

Since we are all working from home and much of our regular work is suspended for the time being, we have a rare opportunity for professional development and collaborative work. So at the all-provider learning community meeting this past Tuesday, the TA Team introduced new vehicles for moving forward: online work groups and a book/article club.

In the learning community meeting Heather also went over basics for Zoom meetings from the perspective of participants (00:53 – 08:07) and Michele reported on the results of last week’s survey (08:44 – 22:34). Here is the recording, and here are the PDF slides – you’ll also find them on the Webinars page.

What are Work Groups?

The goal of work groups is to collaboratively develop youth-friendly materials on specific topics: STI/HIV prevention, pregnancy prevention, and healthy relationships (for starters)–and we plan to add a group on social media outreach soon. Using best practices in online learning, we’ll work together to develop resources that:

  • Teachers can use now in online learning platforms
  • Providers can use in component 2 virtual sessions with young people
  • Providers can use for outreach to youth and parents
  • Providers can use in summer programming

Work groups will meet weekly with an ACT for Youth trainer facilitating. Participants will work on projects in between sessions and present their work the following week.

To keep the work groups a manageable size, pick your favorite topic—please don’t sign up for all of them. Agency staff might want to spread out among the groups rather than all signing on to the same group. You can register for group meetings directly from the training calendar.

These work groups are voluntary, but we hope you’ll actively join in! If we can judge by the chat response at our recent meeting, folks seem enthusiastic about taking this on.

What is the Reading Club?

On Fridays we would like to introduce a new professional development opportunity: a book/article discussion group open to CAPP, PREP, and SRAE. We’ll send articles around and facilitate a discussion on the readings. We won’t present on or review the material—we ask you to read the articles first, then we’ll use our time on Friday to discuss how it applies to our work. If you have an article you’d like to share, please let us know! Check back here for links to the first readings.

– The TA Team

Online Professional Development: Things You Can Do in April!

As promised I will share with you online learning opportunities that are posted across the country by different networks and national TA providers.

Leaders of Learning: This course on learning theories is offered by EdX: HarvardX. Faculty from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education facilitate this course until mid-June. It is free; work load 4-6 hours per week; a certificate can be purchased. Starts today.

Staying Connected: How to Foster Student SEL Growth Through Remote Learning: Youth Communications will offer this interactive seminar on Thursday, April 2, 3:00-4:00. The seminar will explore the methods and strategies educators are using to stay connected with students and foster SEL growth during this time.

2020 National Service-Learning Conference: The National Youth Leadership Council is sponsoring this free, virtual conference April 16-17. Register by April 13. Session topics range from youth voice and civic engagement to education equity and reflection.

Motivational Interviewing – Enhancing Engagement & Improving Conversations. This is a two-part webinar, taking place on Monday, April 20 & Wednesday, April 22. You must register separately for each event. This interactive, online training will review and make relevant the key concepts of Motivational Interviewing. Participants will explore how and when to employ this evidence-based practice to support behavior change. Tailored case scenarios will be used to provide hands on, in real time, practice opportunities focusing on substance-misuse-prevention conversations.

Have fun! Stay tuned for more opportunities!

Jutta Dotterweich

~ Jutta

Meeting the Challenge Together

You are all on our minds during this difficult time as we hunker down, physically separated but sharing similar experiences, fears, and hopes. Connecting virtually is not new to our far-flung, statewide network, but important to do—now more than ever. At ACT for Youth—now operating out of each of our households—we are focusing on online connection and professional development.  We are here for you.

  • EBPs are suspended—outreach (virtual) is not. We know that young people continue to need your support, even as normal programming is suspended.  (From Mandy, here’s how to record any incomplete EBP cycles.) No evidence-based programming can continue without in-person meetings, but some of you already have expertise at maintaining your relationships with young people and getting them critical information and education online. Which brings us to…
  • Sharing your social media expertise. On a learning community meeting attended by over 200 providers last week, many of you shared how to locate your social media accounts (check the chat document. We will also have a future post on this topic). CAPP provider Eloise McAviney suggested that we connect our community of educators across the state with #CAPPsexEd – so keep your eye on that across social media (And this means you, too, PREP providers!) We are actively looking for ways for you to share your expertise with your colleagues. Share your thoughts in the comments!
  • Look for more Hub posts, as we will be using this blog to share updates and ideas.
  • More professional development opportunities will be coming your way soon. First, we are asking supervisors to give us the background information we need to be sure we’re on the right track. Supervisors, check your email for the survey link that your TA provider sent you Monday 3/23 and please complete the survey. Jutta and the TA team are meeting just about constantly, retooling the training calendar and planning new ways to move forward on your behalf.
  • Questions about your funding may be at the top of your mind. We expect guidance from the Department of Health soon, though we know that they are in the eye of the storm. We do not have any inside knowledge at ACT for Youth. Supervisors are welcome to direct your questions and concerns about funding to Eric Zasada. In the meantime, rest assured that time spent in online outreach and professional development is time well spent.

Thank you for your dedication and collaborative spirit. We will get through this together.

~ The ACT for Youth Team:
Jane, Jutta, Mandy, Brian, Heather, Jenny, Karen, Marisol, Mary, Michele, Paula, Vanessa, Vicki