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Youth Engagement Activities

Involving youth in a meaningful way in the planning and decision making of activities at your school is an important part of youth engagement. The following is a list of tips for engaging students:

Tips for school staff meetings

  • Include youth engagement or student voice as a standing agenda item
  • Invite guest speakers who are experts in youth engagement to conduct staff training (i.e. high school students, youth peer facilitators)
  • Test out youth engagement activities by using them as icebreakers (external link) for staff:
  • Icebreaker example: Picture Guessing Game (15 minutes)

    • What you need:
      Paper, pens, markers/crayons, coloured paper
    • What to do:
      1. Using art supplies, have everyone create something represents a strength of theirs
      2. Collect the drawings
      3. Randomly select different drawings
      4. The group tries to guess who drew the picture. Once the artist is guessed, that person explains what the meaning of the picture is. Whoever chooses correctly is the next to choose a drawing.
  • Assign an asset category to each meeting. Have staff present examples of how they are building assets in youth using youth engagement principles in their classroom or when leading extracurricular programs.
  • Include youth participation during staff meetings by having students:
    • Provide updates on programs or events they have been involved with planning and delivering (e.g. pizza days, reading buddies, literacy nights)
    • Facilitate an icebreaker with staff that promotes collaboration. Share their expertise about social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.)
    • Share local youth engagement stories with staff high schools and feeder schools
    • Present their own work to staff (e.g. short stories, poems, art work, videos)

Tips for getting student voice

Tips for youth participation in peer-to-peer program

Tips for youth participation in school activities, clubs and committees

  • Involve youth by inviting them to identify the purpose of a school club or committee, selecting meeting times and locations and developing the agenda
  • Icebreakers (external): Make it fun! Use icebreakers and games at meetings
  • Diversity of youth voice (external): Encourage diverse youth representation by encouraging culturally diverse youth participation
  • Tell youth about the impact of their involvement and let them know how their participation resulted in positive changes
  • Invite student leaders to train younger students to take over in the following year
  • Encourage youth to invite friends to join activities, events, clubs and committees

Tips for Youth Volunteers at School Community Events

  • Utilize the strengths of youth in your planning by inviting a student artist to help design flyers for school events and asking a student with good public speaking skills to introduce a guest speaker
  • Invite students to speak at parent nights, sharing their experiences with school clubs, sports teams, and student leadership

Tips for Youth Participation in Community Initiatives

  • Encourage and invite youth to participate in coalitions/partnerships and community run events, for example, Give Respect Get Respect (external)
  • Include youth in the early stages of planning when forming partnerships with community partners, as having their voice at the table can help ensure that initiatives and activities under development are relevant to youth

For more information or consultation: