Searching for innovation in child and youth work

Hosting an Open Space gathering in Kamloops today with about 40 people who work hard around issues of child and youth health.  We are exploring ways to connect differently and do our work at the next level.  The conversations have started and the topics are rich.  I thought I would put the list here and see if any of you readers in blog land have resources to offer that we can forward to the folks meeting here today.  And if you are in Kamloops and do this work, come on up to Thompson Rivers University and join the conversation.

Session 1

11:00 – 12:15

  • How to develop intergenerational programming (ie seniors and youth)
  • How do we engage children who come from families dealing with addictions?
  • How can we drastically improve reading instruction in your child’s school?  These top 5 items from research can be supported in a half-hour daily routine in the classroom.
  • How do we start the process to develop a children’s charter in Kamloops?
  • What opportunities are out there to use youth wilderness programs to engage youth in meaningful community development?
  • How do we better connect youth/schools to the local food system?  For example: engaging shcools to start gardnes or increasing local food sold in schools?
  • How to create a culture to encourage families at perinatal stage to have access to services and supports which are integrated with traditional service providers?

Session 2


  • Wow! Statistics!
  • I would like to better understand our needs and gaps so that I can better support the community.
  • How do we develop and sustain our networks?  What are the possibilities of our networks?
  • How to create service for parents with disabilities?
  • How can we reduce unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases in sexually active youth?

Session 3


  • How to develop fitness/physical literacy program for 2.5 to 5 year olds?
  • How to keep children and youth engagement authentic, original and fresh so they have the agenda and don’t get bored?
  • How do we better connect school and community centres and programs for collaborative work?
  • How do we reduce stigma attached to social programs to include more children youth and family?
  • Teachers and youth workers as gardners, hiking guides and community development professionals.
  • How do we collectively support and empower parents in our communities to recognize that they have such a crucial role?


  1. for some of the concerns mentioned, checkout national family literacy conference in Edmonton, July 2010

  2. Thanks Valary. We’re doing an Art of Hosting in Edmonton in June…EdTown rocks it!

  3. Can you give details of Art of Hosting event?

  4. Hi Chris,
    maybe too late, but just came across a website ( ) from NZ, where they will definitely find something about youth and food. Also a whole framework around leadership.
    I found it inspiring.

  5. Hello Chris,
    For a Physical Literacy curriculum for ages 2.5 – 5 years please visit This DVD series is easy to use with no special equipment and teaches all the skills necessary for complete Physical Literacy development. And, it is fun for kids so they develop a positive emotional association with physical movement.