ACT for Youth sponsors “Provider Day”
October 11, 2013
Across New York State, communities want to promote the health and well-being of their young people more effectively. The ACT for Youth Center of Excellence offers key support to these efforts among 76 community projects, building their capacity to offer positive youth development and adolescent sexual health programming. On September 23rd, close to 200 program providers from these New York State projects came together in Albany for “Provider Day,” a professional development opportunity sponsored by ACT for Youth.
The three provider groups represented are all funded by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), as is the ACT for Youth Center of Excellence. Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (CAPP) and Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) projects aim to reduce adolescent pregnancy and STDs/HIV by providing evidence-based sex education and expanding opportunities for teens in their communities. Successfully Transitioning Youth to Adolescence (STYA) providers focus on pre-teens. Their charge is to prevent teen pregnancy and STDs through positive youth development approaches such as expanding developmental opportunities and promoting long-term, positive relationships with adults.
Provider Day participants were welcomed by John Eckenrode, BCTR director; Jane Powers, director of the ACT for Youth Center of Excellence; Dr. Guthrie S. Birkhead, Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Public Health, NYSDOH; and Kristine Mesler, Director of the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, NYSDOH. Glynis Shea from the Konopka Institute at University of Minnesota delivered a dynamic keynote challenging the audience on how to communicate more effectively to build public support. A wide range of workshops were offered on topics from reaching immigrant parents to making better use of agency Facebook pages. Facilitated networking sessions provided project staff the opportunity to share their challenges and expertise on topics of mutual interest, such as roles for youth, and effective community outreach.
In evaluations, participants commented “Great job! I learned a lot that I can immediately apply,” and “Let’s do more of this!” Powers commented, “We were thrilled to offer this professional development day to our many youth-serving providers to build connections among those who are working to support adolescents across New York State.”