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Youth Development and Physical Activity

Youth Development and Physical Activity

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    Professionals in educational and recreational settings work hard to understand and address the problems faced by underserved youth. Yet the dedicated people in these institutions are often limited in what they can achieve because they tend to remain within the confines of their own work environment rather than sharing their expertise and resources.

    Instead of accepting this as an unfortunate fact of life, the coauthors of this book see the situation as an opportunity to develop an approach in which the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. In Youth Development and Physical Activity: Linking Universities and Communities, they draw on their considerable teaching experience to present innovative new ways to serve underserved youth.

    The book describes practical strategies for breaking down the walls between universities and communities so they can combine their strengths to improve young people’s lives. You’ll find a wealth of guidelines for creating physical activity programs that instill a sense of social and personal responsibility, including numerous real-life examples of successful programs.

    Youth Development and Physical Activity: Linking Universities and Communities is divided into four parts, each enriched with the colorful “voices” and stories of real kids and youth leaders who have put these ideas into practice:

    • Part I provides a sobering look at the challenges today’s young people face and introduces positive ways to improve physical activity youth programs so they’re meaningful in today’s world.
    • In Part II, you’ll learn how to move from “how it is” to “how it could be,” using a breakthrough model for working with kids and building programs. Here the book provides a road map that shows the way for university students and faculty to connect with youth in their communities through service learning, internships, and other outreach programs
    • Part III spells out how to develop a variety of proven youth physical activity programs—from adventure experiences and Coaching Clubs to mentoring and teen parent programs. You’ll find many great ideas that work in virtually any setting, including public schools, alternative schools, recreation programs, youth service groups, and social agencies.
    • Part IV provides a variety of helpful tools for evaluating programs and improving outcomes, as well as insights on how professionals can develop the skills they need to respond to the changing demands on youth leaders.

    Written by professionals with a combined 70 years of experience working with underserved youth, this book is must reading for both professionals and organizations practicing in a world where youth too often slip through the cracks. It provides a clear and hopeful framework for improving the lives of kids as well as the communities in which they live.


    Reference for physical educators; university faculty, students, and administrators; youth service professionals; public school administrators; and recreation leaders. Also a text for youth leadership courses.

    Table of Contents


    Part I: Realities and Visions
    Chapter 1. The Way It Is
    • Vignettes From Underserved Youth
    • Circumstances Affecting Underserved Youth
    • Aftermath—Circumstances Affecting Underserved Youth
    • Inevitability or Possibility?

    Chapter 2. The Way It Could Be
    • Programs
    • A Big Picture
    • For Further Study

    Part II: Serving Underserved Youth Through University-Community Collaboration
    Chapter 3. Serving Underserved Youth Through Physical Activity
    • Guidelines for Youth Development Programs
    • The Responsibility Model
    • Responsibility Model Goals and Strategies
    • State-of-the-Art Criteria and the Responsibility Model
    • A Map of Community Responsibility-Based Programs
    • Youth Development in Underserved Communities
    • For Further Study

    Chapter 4. Toward University-Community Collaboration
    • Establishing a University Commitment to Underserved Communities
    • Integrating Experience in Community Programs Into University
    • Coursework and Degree Programs
    • Recommendations for Developing a University-Community Focus
    • A Final Word
    • For Further Study

    Part III: Physical Activity Programs for Underserved Youth
    Chapter 5. Outdoor and Adventure Programs
    • Adventure Programs Compared to Outdoor Programs
    • Outdoor and Adventure Programs and the Responsibility Model
    • After-School Adventure Program
    • In-School Outdoor Program
    • Summer Outdoor Program
    • Techniques for Promoting Responsibility
    • Closing Thoughts
    • For Further Study

    Chapter 6. In-School Programs
    • The Context of Schools
    • The School Program
    • Evaluation of the Program
    • For Further Study

    Chapter 7. Extended Day Clubs
    • Coaching Clubs and the Responsibility Model
    • A Basketball Coaching Club
    • The Energizers Club and the Responsibility Model
    • Martial Arts Club and the Responsibility Model
    • Extended Day Clubs and Youth Development
    • For Further Study

    Chapter 8. Alternative School Physical Education
    • Visiting an Alternative In-School Physical Education Program
    • Visiting In-School Physical Education in a Charter School
    • Conducting an Outdoor and Adventure Program in an Alternative School
    • The Teen Parent Program
    • The Walkabout Program
    • Conclusion
    • For Further Study

    Chapter 9. Mentor Programs
    • What Is a Mentor?
    • What Makes a Good Mentor?
    • Being a Good Mentor
    • How Kids Respond to Mentoring and Goal Setting
    • Keeping Track of Mentoring Sessions
    • Getting Started
    • Final Thoughts
    • For Further Study

    Chapter 10. Cross-Age Teaching Programs
    • What Are Cross-Age Teaching Programs?
    • Teaching and Leadership Options Within Cross-Age Teaching Programs
    • Essential Components of Cross-Age Teaching Programs
    • Impact and Outcomes of Cross-Age Teaching Programs
    • The Neighborhood Scholar Program
    • Challenges Facing Program Leaders
    • Addressing the Challenges
    • Conclusion
    • For Further Study

    Part IV: Leadership, Evaluation, and Outcomes
    Chapter 11. Leadership
    • Exploring Leadership
    • Servant-Leadership
    • Leadership, the Responsibility Model, and You
    • Being a Good Program Leader
    • Taking Action
    • Staying On Track
    • For Further Study

    Chapter 12. Program Evaluation
    • Why Do We Evaluate?
    • Assumptions About Evaluation
    • Evaluating Youth Programs
    • Principles Learned From the Evaluation Process
    • For Further Study

    Chapter 13. Program Outcomes
    • Kids
    • University Students
    • College Professors
    • Endings
    • For Further Study

    Epilogue: Challenges
    About the Authors

    About the Author

    Don Hellison, PhD, is best known for his work with underserved youth. He is a professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he is also the director of the Urban Youth Leader Project. He is the author of numerous books, including Teaching Responsibility through Physical Education. Among the awards Dr. Hellison has received are the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Hall of Fame Award in 1999 and the International Olympic Committee President's Prize in 1995. He earned his doctorate in physical education from The Ohio State University.

    Nick Cutforth, PhD, is a noted educator, author, and researcher in the field of service learning and underserved youth. As associate professor in the college of education at the University of Denver, his duties include teaching courses in urban education. Dr. Cutforth received the Latin American Research and Service Agency's Bernie Valdez Education Award in 1997. He earned his doctorate in curriculum, instruction, and evaluation from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    James Kallusky, EdD, has earned a strong reputation for his efforts teaching, directing, and researching physical activity programs for underserved youth. In addition to his duties as assistant professor in kinesiology and physical education at California State University at Los Angeles, he is the executive director for Youth Agency Administration Studies. He earned his doctorate in physical education from the University of Northern Colorado.

    Tom Martinek, EdD, is a well-known scholar in the psychology of physical education and director of Project Effort for Underserved Youth. A professor of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he has developed youth programming and worked directly with underserved kids in the community. He is the 1999 recipient of the Arthur Wilde Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University, where he earned his doctoral degree. Dr. Martinek also was named University Teacher of the Year by the North Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in 1993.

    Melissa Parker, PhD, is an associate professor of kinesiology and physical education at the University of Northern Colorado and a prominent voice in the field of physical education. She has developed service learning programs at several universities and worked with children in a wide range of program settings, from in-school physical education classes to before- and after-school programs, outdoor adventure, and sports. She is also a coauthor of Children Moving. Dr. Parker earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from The Ohio State University.

    Jim Stiehl, PhD, has dedicated the past 30 years to bringing the needs of alternative kids to the forefront. A professor and director of the school of kinesiology and physical education at the University of Northern Colorado, he was named the Central District Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Scholar of the Year in 1993. Dr. Stiehl is also coauthor of the book Changing Kids' Games. He earned his doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles.