What is the goal of Getting to 'Y'?
Getting to 'Y' is an opportunity for students to take a lead in bringing meaning to their own Youth Risk Behavior Survey data and taking steps to strengthen their school and community based on their findings. There is a wealth of information in this bi-annual state-wide report on the wellness of young people in our state. What it does not include is a thoughtful and informed analysis of why ('Y') young people are making either wise or unwise choices. There is also no input on what students believe would change these statistics for the better. Who better to tell us than youth themselves, creating an opportunity for young people to take action to shape their own futures?
How do we achieve this goal? Since 2008, leadership teams of students and adults from over 70 Vermont high schools and middle schools have participated in this initiative, which follows an action research model. Teams attend a training day where they learn tools and strategies to organize their own retreat to analyze data, producing a “Student Executive Summary.” This summary includes three strengths, three areas of concern and a preliminary plan of action, based on an exploration of root causes.They also learn how to host a community dialogue event to share their executive summary to the school and community and lead meaningful multi-generational discussions. Each school receives ongoing coaching and support throughout the process and as they combine all that they have learned to frame the next action steps, which the group implements and assesses.
What does Getting to 'Y' look like in action? Please scroll down to view Getting to 'Y' newsletters that tell the story of Getting to 'Y' school teams. Further down the page, in the video section, you can view the complete Getting to 'Y' Training Day, and the Georgia Middle School's Community Dialogue Event.