Remember that picture, the one that fades from a beauty to a hag, dependent upon how you look at it? http://drawing.wonderhowto.com/how-to/draw-young-lady-old-hag-illusion-2... This link both provides the illustration and shows you how it's made.
When my own daughter was really young, we went to the Oklahoma City Zoo, which had been recently touted by a national magazine as a hot spot. Listening to the docent explain an animal behavior to my then 2 year old along with some other same age peers, he glanced up at the parents and said, " The biggest value to this conversation is not that your children will have encyclopedic knowledge about the animal, but your children will remember there is More, WHY and Whatfor behind it all, and that will build future questions". POTUS is right on when he says we need to expose our children earlier to everyday life rituals and invite them to ask questions so they can participate more fully and effectively in formal learning.
This is 7th in a series, and I really would just like for you to know that there IS a question for some teens and some families about dating and relationship violence. There is help, and it matters what the teen says and does, and it matters what the parents and caregivers do and say.
If I were really going to pull a rabbit out of the hat on this one, I would ask the reader both as a parent and as a therapist to consider that involving your children early in understanding everyday critical thinking skills keeps you miles ahead of the game for academics and life. Whaaaa? OK here is a trusted education source, and I'll let them explain it http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/thinking-skills-lear... This link is very descriptive of what critical thought IS.
This link looks quickly at where parents can suggest a teen apply prior skills. http://www.alleyoop.com/parentblog/2011/02/23/professors-how-to-improve-...
There are piles of books and classes, and it may be that your family, your house of worship, your community, your school are doing this....... really there are two things from Atlanta and two from OKC I'd spring to next.
In Atlanta, there is a wonderful program called THE VOX. It is a student run CITYWIDE newspaper that is a forum for teen input and teen discussion of all kinds of things. It has a component that can be applied to high risk kids, but really, all kinds of kids clamor for this gig. It is the brainchild of a fellow social worker and she has used it as a forum to teach other social workers about evolving youth successes.
This is what THE VOX staff say about what teens are exposed to... and isn't THIS what you want? "Having a credible voice is a cornerstone to our democratic society. VOX ensures that young people in metro Atlanta have an effective, responsible vehicle for their voices -- and helps them develop the skills they need to participate as citizen leaders today, while planning for on-time graduation and productive futures.
With philanthropic support, VOX is able to reach more than 90,000 teens with an educational resource in print and online, using the latest communication technologies and social media to put media literacy skills in action to build a stronger community." http://www.voxteencommunications. org/support/default.aspx
The other program that caught my eye also happens to be in Atlanta, and it is even MORE unique. Here are two links for TEENIDENTITY.COM a magazine that sets forth to make a magazine that is for females that pushes creativity, but hits on important spots, like social issues, art and publications. http://teenidentity.com/#/projects-teen-identity/ They are working on having their own magazine. http://teenidentity.com/#/streetgrace-teen-identity-teen-senior-portraits/
Both of these groups look to give teens an expressive voice. On both pages, there is a self-produced video of people from the program explaining that their process in the groups asked them to be real, to be punctual, to organize and express thoughts, to interact, to share and to process a product with GUIDANCE to completion and the PRIDE they have over accepting the challenge, pushing the limits of self and truly growing into a space that is useable.
The only active program I know in Oklahoma City that takes a sticky wicket and with a cooperative effort converts the raw into an advantage is one in Central Park Neighborhood under Allen Parlier. He has taken inner city kids on probation and turned their community service hours into training for a horticulture certification which answers two questions at one time. The person gets out of court issues and has a life long viable work certification. http://www.examiner.com/article/central-park-community-garden-wins-5-000...
The link below OFF THE CHAIN and Santa Fe South HS in OKC under Lonnie James is very similar, building to the TOP where people have said nothing can be built. http://www.examiner.com/article/off-the-chain-santa-fe-south-high-school...
The difference between the above concepts is vast. They all work. So, what do you see and is it what you HOPE to see for the future of youth?
The need for more programming that young people can access easily and that responds throroughly is surely the key to success. We live in a world where there is much going on. It is also true, that if a parent doesn't have language, how can they ask for they kinds of things that might make their children stronger, smarter, more proactive, more motivated and the all important skill of completion, followed by well earned satisfaction.
Oklahoma House District 88 Representative, Kay Floyd has penned a letter to the community citing her plans for improvements.... and governmental structures are in need of repairs to prevent bullying, mental health and violence.
Let's hope someone is watching for a project. Teen, parent, community leader or parent. Maybe TIP or VOX or TeenIdentity, A Central Park Garden or Santa Fe South will have a twin in our State.