The resources below will help program providers work with youth to address common developmental challenges. For resources on closely related topics, see Building Healthy Life Skills.
Community Partners in New York StateMany local youth service agencies provide skill building and mentoring opportunities. Local Youth Bureaus are a good place to start for referrals. Cornell Cooperative Extension's 4-H program offers a variety of youth leadership opportunities, such as the Health Ambassador program. Big Brothers Big Sisters harnesses the power of adult mentors in young people's lives. The YMCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs focus on health and fitness and may also explore gender-specific development and youth leadership.
Cultural centers, such as Aspira for Latino youth in New York City, might engage young people in an exploration of their identity and community. For LGBTQ youth, regional centers such as Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York City or the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley may offer guidance and resources to address developmental needs.
Planned Parenthood and local reproductive health centers may offer resources and workshops on gender-specific development, puberty, and body image.
Program Activities and Curricula
Life Planning Education
This curriculum from Advocates for Youth offers a range of activities exploring the adolescent self, values, health and sexuality, relationships to others, gender roles, citizenship and community, and future goals. Free download.
Let's Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum
The National Runaway Switchboard provides this runaway prevention curriculum with strengths-based activities on identity and value exploration; risk behaviors and decision making; relationships to peers, family, and community; and emotional well-being and control. Free download.
Offered by the Family Life Council Division of Children's Home Society of North Carolina, this curriculum is a male responsibility program targeting males age 11-17. Activities focus on gender roles, personal and family values, and communication and relationship skills, as well as sexuality, sexual health, and parenthood. A version for males age 18-29 is available as well. Both curricula are available in English and Spanish.
Engaging Boys and Men in Gender Transformation (PDF)
This education manual from EngenderHealth challenges boys and men to question their view of masculinity and sexual responsibility. It has been piloted internationally and adapted to many different groups and communities. Activities focus on gender and power, values and relationships, and health and sexuality, among other topics. Free download.
Girls Circle offers curricula and facilitator activity guides to build confidence and social-emotional competence in girls. Additional topics include body image, sexual health, and substance abuse.
The Council for Boys and Young Men
The Council for Boys and Young Men offers several gender-specific curricula that focus on gender role exploration, emotional regulation, and social competence.
Youth Communication publishes stories written by marginalized teens about the issues they face. The stories can be used as tools to engage young people in conversations about a range of topics and developmental challenges. Collections (or resource kits) include girls' issues, becoming a man, and diversity and cultural competence, among others. Lessons and leader guides are available for topics including masculinity, social/emotional skills, and others. Story collections are available for purchase; individual stories are online and can be searched by topic.
Race: Are We So Different?
A project of the American Anthropological Association, this interactive website offers many resources, including teacher guides. The site explores race through three lenses: history, the biology and genetics of human variation, and lived experience.
A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance offers web-based classroom activities and free teaching kits on a range of topics such as body image, gender roles, experiencing oppression and discrimination, and other social justice issues.
Guidelines for Healthy Food and Beverages for Adolescent Health Programs (PDF)
Developed by ACT for Youth for program providers funded by the New York State Department of Health, these nutrition guidelines give practical ideas for offering healthy food choices, raising awareness about nutrition, and engaging participants in menu planning and food preparation.
Easy Meals & Snacks: A Healthy Cookbook for Teens (PDF)
This resource from the California Department of Public Health offers nutrition information and links; resources for teen families; shopping tips; basic information on cooking and food safety; and teen-friendly, healthy recipes.
Jump Start Teens (PDF)
California Project LEAN offers this eight-session curriculum to encourage students to eat healthy, keep moving, and become smart consumers and involved citizens. Free download.
Brian Wansink, author of the book Mindless Eating, developed this website to help people make better choices for healthy eating. It includes One Page Wonders -- activities for K-12 and college -- as well as Full Class Session Modules.
Media Smart Youth
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development offers this curriculum to help youth age 11-13 explore healthy nutrition and fitness through a media literacy approach.
Come and Get It (PDF)
Offered by ETR Associates, this health curriculum is for high school students in alternative school settings. The program helps students develop knowledge and skills that support healthy nutrition and physical activity. Free download.
Resources for Young PeopleTeensHealth
The Nemours Foundation provides guidance on a range of topics, including:
Created by the Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this website is intended to help girls age 10-16 learn about health, growing up, and a range of issues they may face.
Planned Parenthood - Info for Teens
Planned Parenthood's web pages for teens include:
This Rutgers University website for teens offers a range of resources:
Center for Young Women's Health
With this website, Children's Hospital Boston aims to improve girls' understanding of normal health and development.
Young Men's Health
Developed by Children's Hospital Boston, this website focuses on issues related to the health and development of boys and young men.