Active Youth Summit 2006
The poor physical, educational and social development of America's youth has raised national alarm. Research shows today's young people are less active and more prone to obesity. They are under greater pressure to succeed academically during school hours and avoid high-risk, harmful social behaviors in the afterschool hours. While participation in afterschool sports has long helped youth develop the life and resiliency skills needed to thrive, fewer opportunities exist today, especially for urban youth.
Leaders in the fields of Out-of-School Time (OST) and Youth Sports are working to respond. In recent years, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and New York have invested millions of dollars to launch city-wide afterschool policies and initiatives. Concurrently, social entrepreneurs and organizations, such as Harlem RBI (baseball), America SCORES (soccer), and The First Tee (golf), have emerged to leverage the popularity, resources and experiential teaching power of sports to provide youth with exercise, tutoring, mentoring, leadership and character development.
While many programs make progress and hold promise, too many initiatives start from scratch, work in isolation, lose momentum and fail to grow without the benefit of research, dialogue and support from like-minded peers, potential partners and national funders.
Over two days in a beautiful setting, the Active Youth Summit will convene 25 nationally-respected thought leaders representing the best of OST and Youth Sports research, evaluation, policy, philanthropy and direct service. Through presentations of research and intensive discussion of practice, the Active Youth Summit will:
- Create a forum for collaboration among OST and Youth Sports leaders committed to youth programs that provide and combine physical, emotional and academic supports;
- Explore "common challenges" and "best practices" for building strategic partnerships and maximizing the use of sports to reach and meet the needs of the most at-risk youth;
- Build the will and consensus to form a common strategy for integrating and scaling the goals of the Youth Sports and afterschool communities at the local and national levels; and
- Produce a report on the meeting, including abstracts of discussions and papers presented in the journal New Directions in Youth Development: Theory, Practice and Research , published by Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Company.