Youth Engagement in the Time of Social Distancing: An Introductory Conversation

March 30, 2020

On April 2nd the Pennsylvania Humanities Council Teen Reading Lounge network hosted an informative 90-minute conversation exploring how afterschool humanities programming for youth ages 12 – 18 is being impacted by the COVID-19/novel coronavirus outbreak.

Libraries, K-12 schools, and many community centers serving youth and their families have been ordered to close. This resulted in an abrupt disruption in the afterschool opportunities young people have come to rely on for connection, comfort, and learning. 

So, where does that leave us? Are there opportunities to stay connected despite our mandate to maintain social distancing? What creative solutions are sites and staff coming up with across the state – and nationally – to stay connected? Hear what our panelists had to say.

Guest speakers  included:

  • Laura Saccente, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network (PSAYDN)
  • Dr. Valerie Adams-Bass, Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Virginia.
  • Corri Hines, School Age Services Advisor, Bureau of Library Development, Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Pennsylvania Department of Education

We spoke with Laura, Valerie, and Corri about best practices for staying connected, guidelines for virtual and other forms of communications with youth, and creative solutions for reaching youth and families that may not have robust technical resources.

We also reviewed local and national examples of virtual youth programs and youth engagement strategies. Access the resources that were shared and the PowerPoint presentation here

This webinar is supported by Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Department of Education, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor.  Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities

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