ACT for Youth Center of Excellence

Manual: Positive Youth Development 101

Manual: Positive Youth Development 101The Positive Youth Development 101 curriculum offers an orientation to the youth development approach for professionals new to the field of youth work. Use this free curriculum to provide professional development to new youth workers, supervisors and administrators, funders, and community volunteers.

The 10-hour curriculum is structured in five distinct sections, each of which may be presented as a stand-alone workshop:

  1. Positive Youth Development: theoretical underpinnings and key principles of positive youth development; brief review of adolescent development
  2. Positive Youth Outcomes: positive outcomes and strategies to build these outcomes
  3. Youth Voice and Engagement: opportunities for meaningful engagement; overcoming adultism
  4. Youth Development Programming: features of effective youth development settings and youth-centered learning approaches
  5. Youth Worker Competencies: competency frameworks, boundaries, and ethical dilemmas
This training builds upon the New York State Advancing Youth Development (AYD) project, which provided professional development for youth workers from 1998 through 2011. Drawing on an experiential learning model, the curriculum uses a range of small and large group activities to allow for active participation, discussion, and reflection, in combination with short lectures, informative handouts, and web-based resources.

Download Curriculum

Download the curriculum, activity worksheets, handouts, and slides here. Pre- and post-tests and a feedback form are also provided. To download handouts and activity worksheets individually, see Section Handouts and Activities below.

The following documents are in PDF format unless otherwise indicated.

pyd_pyd101curriculum.pdfPositive Youth Development 101
pyd_activity-worksheets_full-set.pdfActivity Worksheets: full set
pyd_handouts_full-set.pdfHandouts: full set (English)
pyd101-final.pptxSlides (PowerPoint)
pyd_feedback.docxTraining Feedback Form (Word)

Section 1 Handouts and Activities

pyd_1-2_research.pdf1.2 Research That Supports Youth Development

pyd_1-3_stages.pdf1.3 Stages of Adolescent Development (English) Stages of Adolescent Development (Spanish)
pyd_1-3_section1.pdf1.3 Section 1: Resources & References

Section 2 Handouts and Activities

pyd_2-1_outcomes-6c.pdf2.1 Positive Youth Outcomes - 6 Cs (English) Positive Youth Outcomes (Spanish)
pyd_2-1_section2.pdf2.1 Section 2: Resources & References

pyd_2-2_services.pdf2.2 Services, Opportunities, Supports - The SOS Framework
pyd_2-2_sos-map.pdf2.2 SOS Mapping Activity

pyd_2-3_sparks-peer.pdf2.3 Sparks Peer-to-Peer Interview
pyd_2-3_strength.pdf2.3 Strength-Based Information Gathering
pyd_2-3_sparks-interview.pdf2.3 Sparks Interview Questions

Section 3 Handouts and Activities

pyd_3-1_meaning.pdf3.1 Meaningful Roles

pyd_3-2_youth-decision.pdf3.2 Youth in Decision Making

pyd_3-3_section3.pdf3.3 Section 3: Resources & References
pyd_3-3_worksheet-adultism.pdf3.3 Worksheet: Framework for Understanding Adultism
pyd_3-3_framework-adultism.pdf3.3 Framework for Understanding Adultism
pyd_3-3_adultism-scenarios.pdf3.3 Adultism Scenarios

Section 4 Handouts and Activities

pyd_4-1_features.pdf4.1 Features of Positive Developmental Settings
pyd_4-1_resources-NRC-features.pdf4.1 Resources: NRC Features of Positive Developmental Settings
pyd_4-1_agency-climate-bingo.pdf4.1 Agency Climate Bingo

pyd_4-2_scaffold.pdf4.2 Scaffolding Overview
pyd_4-2_positive-and-corrective.pdf4.2 Positive and Corrective Feedback
pyd_4-2_five.pdf4.2 Five Reasons to Stop Saying "Good Job!"
pyd_4-2_section4.pdf4.2 Section 4: Resources & References

pyd_4-3_engaging-planning.pdf4.3 Engaging Youth: Planning Activities
pyd_4-3_consensus.pdf4.3 Consensus - Action Planning
pyd_4-3_engaging-reflection.pdf4.3 Engaging Youth: Reflection Activities
pyd_4-3_experiential.pdf4.3 Experiential Education & the Experiential Learning Cycle
pyd_4-3_reflective.pdf4.3 Reflective Group Conversation
pyd_4-3_open-ended.pdf4.3 Open-Ended Questions
pyd_4-3_gardner.pdf4.3 Gardner's Multiple Intelligences
pyd_4-3_collaborative.pdf4.3 Collaborative Learning Reflection Cube from Step It Up 2 Thrive

Section 5 Handouts and Activities

pyd_5-1_section5.pdf5.1 Section 5: Resources & References

pyd_5-3_dilemma_activity.pdf5.3 Dilemma: Youth in Charge, but Falling Behind


Positive Youth Development 101 was developed by Jutta Dotterweich of ACT for Youth, in collaboration with the NYS 4-H State Office, the NYS 4-H Educator Association, the Risk and Thriving in Adolescence Program Work Team, and several youth development consultants and former trainers of the NYS AYD partnership. Its purpose is to increase the knowledge and skills of new youth work professionals, establish a common language among youth work professionals, and advance a youth development network in New York State.

This curriculum development and training project is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Smith Lever project 2012-13-272.