Tween Summer Plans: Structure or Free Range?

18 May 2018

Tween Summer Plans: Structure or Free Range?

Posted in Social & Emotional Learning, Health & Safety, Cognitive & Academic Peformance

Dr. Orson Morrison, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist

For many Oak Park-River Forest area families, the end of the school year is quickly approaching. As a parent myself, I’m all too familiar with the mad rush we experience in planning our children’s summer activities, particularly since high-demand programs fill up so quickly. While the younger children seem content with structured sports, arts, music, and STEM programming through various organizations like the Park Districts or Oak Park Education Foundation Base Camp, parents often get push back from tweens and older teens who are “over” structured summer camps. What’s a parent to do?

Together We Can Reduce Underage Drinking

21 November 2017

Together We Can Reduce Underage Drinking

Posted in Health & Safety

By Kelly O'Connor & Aimee Bates Oak Park - River Forest Workgroup for Positive Youth Development

Our community has an underage drinking problem.

Since 2010, in surveys of 8th to 12th graders in Oak Park and River Forest, our local youth have reported attitudes toward—and activity involving—drinking alcohol that consistently and significantly exceeds the state average.

An overly permissive attitude among adults—who either provide access to alcohol, or turn a blind eye to it—is clearly part of the problem, according to Illinois Youth Survey results as well as focus group feedback that we have gathered the past few months.

Belonging in the Community: Neighbors Knowing Neighbors

22 September 2017

Belonging in the Community: Neighbors Knowing Neighbors

Written by Linda Francis, Posted in Social & Emotional Learning

At Success of All Youth (SAY), belonging is the cornerstone of our collective efforts to empower young people to reach their full potential.

Children with a strong sense of belonging in their families, schools and community develop the emotional strength and self-efficacy that helps them cope with challenges and obstacles. Research indicates a sense of belonging has a profound effect on emotions, social skills, relationships, behavior and cognition – all of SAY’s other indicators of well-being.

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