Without a doubt we are moving into the information age and our young people need to develop 21st century workplace skills. These skills include communication, ability to work together with a team of people, and the ability to work across a variety of cultures and communities. So how do we support our young people so they can contribute in this new work place? New York after-school is addressing this by working closely with partners.
The New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN) and the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) are working together to connect Peace Corps Volunteers who have returned from international service to local afterschool programs. An article written by Erin Madsen and published on December 16, 2010, states that the purpose of this program will be to provide “global learning opportunities for children and youth from pre-kindergarten through high school”. NYSAN and NPCA recognize the challenge that faces today’s youth as we move into a global economy with amazingly diverse communities and culture that youth will communicate with through the Internet, which allows us to communicate with anyone, anywhere, nearly instantly. This project will give youth the opportunity to learn about the world from people who have experienced the world.
The volunteers will choose to participate in ongoing after-school interactions, or to come in for a specific amount of time and share perhaps a “unit” of study about the country in which they served. Of course, volunteers will be encouraged to make a commitment for a semester, school year, summer program, or school quarter or trimester. It will be important for the after-school programs to provide training and support for these volunteers to best ensure that the volunteer can be focused on sharing the content and information.
Building global competence should be one of the goals of all of our after-school programs. We pride ourselves on preparing students for the real world, and the reality is, today’s youth will live and operate in a global environment.
If you would like more information about the New York Project you can email Jennifer Siaca, NYSAN Project Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org