With Your Community
Research demonstrates the importance of
community involvement for the overall development of adolescents.
Adolescents involved in their communities are less likely to be involved
with alcohol, drugs, violence, and promiscuous sexual activity. Besides
volunteering for various community organizations, there are mentoring
programs and after-school sports, arts, and community service programs
that provide important outlets for youths. These groups can help teenagers
identify with an adult who believes in them, supports them, and helps
them problem solve. As teenagers' relationships with their parents
become more complex, additional adult role models become increasingly
important. Teenagers who are given the opportunity to contribute to
their community feel valued and are less likely to engage in destructive
behavior. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Injury Free Coalition
for Kids has been instrumental in helping to leverage hospital
resources for supportive groups ranging from bicycle repair shops
to teenage dance troupes.
How to Use This Tool
- This brochure can be used as a motivational tool to encourage
teens to begin expanding their connections, supports, and responsibilities
and to promote their increasing maturity.
- Give this brochure to parents to provide information about positive
steps of the teenager toward independence and the changing role
of teenager as a productive contributory and valued participant
in our community.
As an accompaniment to this brochure, clinics may want to develop
a resource guide for teenagers or have a contact person who can
help interested youth find community groups. Schools, faith-based
organizations, and police-sponsored Boys & Girls Clubs often provide
opportunities for teenagers to be involved with their communities
and may be able to help identify other groups that more specifically
fit the interests and talents of these young adults.
Kids Samples Home
TIPP® and Connected Kids on CD-ROM