How to Introduce Creative Youth Development into an Existing Afterschool Program

The Casita Maria Story
By Anne Dunning

Out-of-school time program leaders know that engagement is critical to their ability to achieve youth outcomes. Programs have to ignite and sustain participants’ interest in order to help them thrive. According to the Search Institute, “The major component of thriving is the concept of ‘sparks’—the interests and passions young people have that light a fire in their lives” (Scales, 2010). Research into these “sparks” identified creative arts as the top-ranked interest among teens aged 12 to 17, cited by 54 percent of teens surveyed (Benson, 2008).

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The Afterschool Matters Initiative is managed by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

Georgia Hall, PhD, is Managing Editor of the Afterschool Matters Journal

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA

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