If a new effort takes hold, competitive video gaming could someday be much more popular in U.S. middle and high schools, perhaps as commonplace as basketball, marching band and the big spring musical. Led in part by a former U.S. Education Department official who is now in the classroom, the undertaking could also expand both the size and diversity of the “esports” player and spectator base – a group that, in the United States at least, remains mostly white, male and upper-middle-class.

February through April

The Center for Youth Development Professionals is excited to offer a mini-professional learning community on the topic of human centered design.

The Wildlife Leadership Academy enriches Pennsylvania teens and empowers them to become certified Conservation Ambassadors through attending one of our 5-day residential summer field schools: white-tailed deer, brook trout, ruffed grouse, turkey, or bass. Students gain extensive knowledge about wildlife and conservation, and leadership experience and communication skills.

State Capitol

Out-of-school time should be treated with the same attention as current education hot topics like pre-K and college tuition costs. Often times, when politicians debate over resource allocation or ways to increase the quality of education, they focus on the start and end of a child’s educational journey. This approach often overlooks the many opportunities that could be improved upon in elementary, middle and high school years.

Researchers who have studied the impacts of expanded opportunities for children and youth have found them not only to tie in with improved academic performance and outcomes, but also reduce risky behaviors and juvenile crime, increase positive socio-emotional development, and lead youth to follow healthier living habits.

Out-of-school programming is a smart investment for politicians to talk about, as the benefits radiate far beyond the scope of individual well-being.

As of 2018, only 17 states require high school students to take a course in personal finance. Out of the 17 states providing personal finance courses, only five of them received an A when graded on the state’s effectiveness at producing financially literate high school graduates. What is worse, studies have repeatedly shown students without a financial education are more likely to have low credit scores and other financial problems.

Why are we waiting to teach them the foundations of financial literacy and other subjects that can improve their quality of life? Learning about business allows children to develop responsibility, exercise creativity and develop social skills, and teaching financial literacy reinforces the STEM skills they are already learning in elementary school and sometimes even earlier.

a young school leaver gets training on the computer in a busy office

Entrepreneurial skills meet real-world experience in Pittsburgh school districts that have teamed up with local companies and business professionals. Each program provides valuable job training for kids before they graduate and insights into possible career paths. Opportunities range from problem solving at a manufacturing facility to managing an on-campus coffee shop.

PSAYDN at Center for Schools and Communities
275 Grandview Avenue, Suite 200 | Camp Hill, Pa 17011 | (717) 763-1661
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