In many summer job programs, youth work as peer leaders, leading health and wellness opportunities. This peer leadership model will be especially popular this summer, with a variety of grants and programs encouraging health and wellness activities.
Peer leaders might design and lead workshops, classes, sports or fitness events; help to organize health fairs; share nutrition information; participate in gardening and food projects; or lead other other health-and-wellness-related special projects and events. Peer leaders develop brochures, posters, webpages and other communications about health and wellness issues. Peer leaders talk to peers, looking closely at the factors that motivate people toward health and wellness and at the barriers that detract from health and wellness.
What are some of the skills that youth develop through these programs? Here is a sample set of “seven skills/tasks” drawn from sample Work-Based Learning Plans.
|Health Awareness||Demonstrating awareness of healthy behaviors, such as nutrition, diet, exercise and stress reduction. Developing activities to encourage others to explore healthy behaviors.|
|Creative and Critical Thinking||Using available resources and working with peers to develop creative ideas for programming, marketing and messaging.|
|Managing Information||Conducting surveys; Collecting sign-in sheets; and gathering other information to track health information, event attendance and other outcomes.|
|Research||Using a variety of resources to conduct research about healthy behaviors, event opportunities and other topics.|
|Media and Technology||Updating the organizational website and social media pages to share information and/or promote special events.|
|Awareness of Child and Adolescent Development||Demonstrate awareness and understanding of age appropriate activities, communication and behavior for the targeted age groups.|
|Journal Writing||Maintaining a reflection journal throughout the summer program.|