Sea Cliff Kids Council

I presented my preliminary plan for a Sea Cliff Kids Council to the Sea Cliff Village Board on July 10. You can view the slides here. This plan focuses on understanding why past attempts at creating a Youth Board have not been successful and takes salient points from the best research on community youth programs (click here for the research paper from Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council and DC Board on Children , Youth, and Families, sponsored by the Ford Foundation, Packard Foundation and others) into consideration in planning how to build a vibrant, successful youth organization in Sea Cliff.
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The Sea Cliff Kids Council, which is what I’m calling it for now, — if you have thoughts on a name, please share with me — has the following objectives: 
To provide opportunities for SC kids between 5th-12th grades to:
  • collaborate with peers and adults to create, manage, and complete projects that affect positive change in our community
  • be mentored and be a mentor
  • explore interests and develop skills in unique areas
  • build bonds with peers, mentors, community and place
  • show leadership, team building, and project management skills

The environmental, social, traffic, and other situations will increasingly challenge our community. Our people, their unique skills, experiences and resources as well as their willingness to share themselves with our community are our primary advantages. Contributing to your community, making things better, sharing to build something better are foundational needs. Sea Cliff provides so many opportunities for adults to give to the community, so it is clear that this spirit is alive in us. It is then natural for us to seek to provide opportunities for our kids to contribute in similar ways. Sea Cliff Kids Council aims to do just that.

My next steps are to reach out to people who run successful community youth programs to understand the best practices in the field and refine the operating plan for Sea Cliff. At the same time I am actively seeking both project ideas from kids and contributions from adults. If you are a person between 10 and 18 and have something you want to do, let me know! Folks older than 18 who are interested in participating or contributing – being a mentor, sharing space, guiding a group or if you have experience or insight that you’d like to share —talk to me! Come to a Village Board Meeting (usually the first Monday of the month at 530p and upstairs and usually the second Monday of the month at 700p and downstairs at Village Hall. This Monday is Labor Day, so the 530 meeting is on Tuesday night). You can also email me at dmcdermott@seacliff-ny.gov.

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