February 4th Listening Session

February 4, 2015 @ City Hall from 4PM-6PM

Q1: What do you think needs to happen to address this goal?
Q2: What role can youth take to tackle this goal?

MILESTONE 1: Ensure all children enter school ready to learn.
Q1 Responses
• More resources for teachers
• Home visits
• Resources for parents
• Early Mentoring Opportunities
• Safe location to provide services
• Affordable child care

Q1 Responses
• Early childhood education
• Affordable day care
• Mental health counseling
• Support; parenting classes

Q1 Responses
• Providing opportunities for parents
• Affordable childcare

Q1 Responses
• Provide safe environment (comfort)
• Early mentorship
• Parenting classes (enrichment services)
• Headstart funding

Q1 Responses
• Physical and emotional safety
• Early education
• Supporting family systems
• ESL, transportation, nutrition

MILESTONE 2: Ensure all children read at grade level by third grade
Q1 responses:
• Smaller class size, more focus and attention on students and needs
• Tutoring programs should be free and available
• Interesting literature that is applicable to kids
• Visual learning, books shown on TV in commercials, not iPads
• Create a culture that stresses the importance of books
• Create/bring back the summer reading channel
• Stress at a young age the importance of reading
• Make the material more interesting and then the teachers won’t be boring
• Mix in other forms of literature (poetry, memoirs, etc.)
• Listen to the kids and see what they want to read
• Increase resources in schools
• Give children the freedom to pick what they want to read
• Integrate culture of communities into the classroom (hip hop, art, etc.)

Q2 responses
• Increase meetings with youth to discuss these issues
• Increase events for young people put together by young adults/teens, events that capture culture of the community (i.e. read along)

Q1 responses:
• Need support system
• Increase family involvement
• Target class clowns
• Bring back the 100 book challenge (you get awards if you read 100 books)
• More book fairs
• Develop award systems to incentivize students
o Stickers, certificates, t-shirts, etc.
• Let children know how important education is for them and their future
• Outside school, have volunteers read to kids
o Make community service more geared to reading programs
o Advertise these community service opportunities to children
• Tutoring

Q2 responses
• More meetings with youth to discuss issues
• Youth can volunteer to help with reading programs
• More community service opportunities geared towards young people
• Fun activities that bring youth together

Q1 responses:
• Move children to the next level if they are at reading level, continue challenging students in the classroom and in daycare
o Curriculum should meet individual’s unique skill levels
• Use technology to your benefit; Leap pads, computer games that teach academics
• Increase personal attention towards youth; recognize individual struggles and skills
• Make school year earlier OR have preparation programs
• Have eye testing and other forms of testing to recognize children’s needs
• 100 book challenge
• Incentivize children to read through class trips (i.e. 6 flags)
o Know children’s interests in order to incentivize properly
• Make nerds cool:
o Teach kids to balance academics and social life
o Give them cool stuff to incentivize achievement
• Increase extracurricular opportunities, discover interests and passions of children
o Give them more freedom to balance their lives
• Praise from teachers without making the kids teacher’s pet
o Find the balance of praising children while still challenging them

Q1 responses
• Address special needs; increase special ed. Resources, make them more available
• Read along with a tape, it is important to hear someone else’s voice
o Involve music, storytelling, and images to engage children
• Increase one on one time
• Incorporate parent-student homework, make parents work with their children
• Increase reading practice, work on pronunciation
• After-school activities
• Make it competitive, have children take a pledge to complete a task or give them an award at the end
o Making reading be an accomplishment to take pride in
o Awards, medals, 100 book challenge
• Specialize teaching for each child
o Understand which children are struggling and give them specialized care
• Be careful with technology, use it to your advantage by incorporating reading games and staying away from time-wasting tech

Q1 Responses
• For children above reading level, keep challenging them, give them harder work
• Smaller class sizes, no more than 15 children per teacher
• Kids learn in different ways, customize your teaching style based on individual strengths and weaknesses
o Touch on the 9 intelligence’s through more elaborate curriculum (i.e. teach entrepreneurship)
• Find alternatives to forcing children to sit in one place and be bored
o Increase seeing, hearing, and doing in learning
• Interactive and manipulative learning
o Videos, workshops
• Change the atmosphere created in the classroom
o Energize
o Train teachers to meet/engage young people’s energy
o Train in cultural competency, cultural sensitivity
• Make school fun!
• Have teachers relate to the individual
• Give teachers more supports so they can create a happy, learning environment
• Increase access to online tutoring/opportunities to skype with a mentor
• Eliminate bullying, make smart cool
• Have parents instill in their children that learning is valuable

MILESTONE 3: Ensure all youth graduate high school.
• Improve school, don’t close them
• Reinvest money used for jails, and invest in teachers
o Supplies, skills equipment
o “Show me you care, I have to see it!”
• Reformat district lines
• Students and teachers should be more vulnerable
• Better use of after-school time
o Tutoring
o Target struggling students

• Increase supplies (i.e. books, tools, equipment)
o “We need more!”
• Increase social supports (severely understaffed)
o Guidance counselors
o Nurses
• Decrease student to teacher ratio (more teachers)
• Increase mental health and wellness awareness
o Trained staff
o Intervention strategies
• Better learning environment
o Facilities
o General environment

• Re-invest in inner-city public schools
• Improve quality of curriculum
o Update it
o More rigorous
o More advanced curriculum at a younger age
o Better equipment and supplies
• Approach to teaching
o Love, motivation, inspiration
 From everyone (i.e. teachers, administrators, staff)
o Be flexible and adaptable
• Smaller learning community
o Decrease the teacher/student ratio
• Applied learning
• Knowledge of self
o Self-esteem
o Self-efficacy
• Surveys
o Assessment of quality of experience
• Increase parental involvement
o Be more flexible
 Approach parents
 Be more engaging
• MotivationApplication of learning
o Starting early on in academic career
o Strategies for “Life Success”
 Mentors
• Pedagogy—students need to create content, not just consume it
o Entrepreneurship, business, management, ownership
• Teaching approach
o Love, patience, care
• Teach skills for school and for life
• Connect teaching and pedagogy to the “Big Picture”
• How to survive as an adult
• Post secondary education prep
• Accountability
o Teachers holding students accountable and students holding teachers accountable
• Out of school time
o Can be used more effectively for educational purposes
• Assess and monitor prior learning
o Better services and treatment for those off track prior to high school
• Increase access to college
o Follow students to college graduation
• Improve facilities and environment
o Improve physical assets
• Relevance, Make learning more applicable
o To college and life
o Education should be stack-able
o Economics, health, life skills
• Increase exposure to professional fields
o Step-by-step
o Mentors
• Better legislation
o Better judgment in the interest of students
• Redistribution of tax dollars
• Ownership, teach to own

MILESTONE 5: Ensure all youth out of school are employed
Q1 responses:
• Take a look at developing new standardized tests – tests that look at different skill sets and are measures of performance.
• Need more men in education – teachers, administrators, etc – who can young men see and interact with everyday.
• Allow for a varied of skills to be on display – encourage and develop opportunities for students to showcase skills such as: emotional intelligence; leadership; civic and social interest or impact
• In addition to traditional education, help young people understand skills needed to get a job or even create jobs.
• Everyday adult tasks such as paying bills or understanding what taxes produce will help youth with responsibility and ownership.

Q2 responses:
• Ask questions, feel comfortable talking to adults, roles models, teachers, etc. about seeking and preparing for jobs.
• Don’t allow opportunities to be lost
• Hone skills you consider strengths but find ways to challenge yourself

Q1 responses:
• Some change in school curriculum to focus more on life or professional skills
• Don’t set students up to fail in academic subjects with “one size fits all” approach
• Create more opportunities to develop vocational skills
• More resources devoted to special needs education and mentorships
• Not enough personal attention in school but also limited options for adult interactions outside of school; don’t know where to look sometimes
• Schools, local businesses, and governments need to have a better understanding of the student populations

Q2 responses:
• Already feel like “on my own” – shouldn’t be the case – need some guidance
• Need to seek out people who care

Q1 responses:
• Too many barriers to even apply for a job; need less requirements and “hoops to jump through”
• Need more re-entry job options and less restrictions; still feel discrimination exists towards re-entering citizens
• Extremely hard to know where to start looking for jobs; need more “job centers” to “centralize” system
• Lack of fairness; competing for jobs against the wrong people – over qualified people.
• Create a link between school and work opportunities; volunteers options, as well; even part-time to prove one’s abilities

Q2 responses:
• Do a self-assessment; better understand “what you want”
• Seek out mentors but feel like schools should do a better job
• Only can motivate yourself

Q1 responses:
• Support for interview preparation and professional skills training – should be taught in school and well before the legal age
• Knock down stereotypes – too many still exist – narrative needs to change
• Besides interviews solely focused on dialogue, can’t there be other options to showcase ones abilities?
• Too many obstacles to meet prerequisites for an entry level job
Q2 responses:
• Young people need to learn the value in school and education whether they “like it” or not
• Attend after school programs or become more involved in productive activities; be more open-minded
• More programs like PowerCorpPHL
• Take responsibility; seek time to improve yourself


Q1 responses:
• Create more training programs that prepare young people socially, mentally and physically
• Follow-up after tests to help learn from – “What does this mean for me?” – help students understand what something like a personality or professional test shows and point students in the direction
• Coursework in class should somehow relate to a career
• More high schools should participate in co-ops
• For those in prison or detention centers, why aren’t they being prepared for both civic and professional re-entry? Without this, it’s simply a revolving door

Q2 responses:
• “First step, where are the resources?” – need help knowing where to look for jobs, who is hiring, etc.
• Many times students don’t know what they want to do, they are lost and lack inspiration because they don’t see opportunity; help students realize potential and to seek career paths – why guidance counselors are necessary
• Sometimes the environment at home is often what holds students back; they don’t have any sense of what it takes to go beyond the minimal effort

MILESTONE 6: Ensure all youth are safe from violent crime
Q1 Responses (“Needs” section)
• Stop killing over nothing
• More job opportunities
• No background checks for jobs
• More second chance job opportunities
• Building stronger communities/neighborhoods
• Address drug issues

Q2 responses (“Your role” section)
• Community service projects
o PowerCorps PHL
• Peer-to-peer mentoring
• Youth leaders
• Communication
• Positive media coverage (social, video, news)
• Stronger presence in schools

Q1 responses:
• Better police training
• Enforcement against police
• Social skills classes in school
o Positive behavior
o Socialization
• Unity
• Positive media

Q2 responses:
• Self-awareness
• Personal change
• Learning to control emotions
• Lead by example

Q1 responses:
• More programming
o After school
o Sub readiness
o Exposure to different things
• Better school
o Prepared teachers
o Addressing violence with parents and community
• Resource centers
• Bring Black History back into schools

Q2 responses:
• Youth community meetings
• Youth conversations with the mayor
• Positive social media presence

Q1 responses:
• Reduce free time
• Increase self love
• Address trauma
• Address inter-generational violence
• Self-esteem programs (address individuals)
• Reach out on social media
• Keep communication open
• Keep having meetings

Q2 responses:
• Be present in the community
• Religion/faith/spirituality
• Collaborate with organizations

Q1 responses:
• Gun control
• Community service
• Invest in people’s morals
• Deal with emotions
• Gun education
• More second chances
• Police enforcement
• More safe places

Q2 responses:
• Community programming
• Peer to peer mentoring
• Sports programming
• Dance programming
• PAL Centers
• Mentoring
• More camps

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