We are proud to announce that Getting to ‘Y’ (GTY) has received national designation as a Best Practice by the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP). The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) has also recognized GTY as an Evidence-based Practice. The AMCHP Review Panel, comprised of experts in public health and child and adolescent health, awards the Best Practice designation to
programs that have been extensively evaluated and proven effective. “These recognitions came after thorough review of the theoretical underpinnings, practice implementation, and
outcome data of GTY and are strong affirmations of the impact and importance of the program in promoting the health and well-being of young people,” said Sharon Koller, UP for Learning’s GTY Coordinator. Schools and groups that want to implement GTY now have access to increased funding opportunities since many state and federal grants require use of programs with this designation.
This Vermont-grown program has been part of UP for Learning’s set of innovative initiatives since 2008. “This
is an extraordinary designation as it gives UP for Learning the opportunity to share our program, which centers youth voice, at the national level, reaching schools and organizations that want a proven tool to engage young people in the health and well-being of their peers and their communities,” states Lindsey
Halman, UP for Learning’s Executive Director. GTY is grounded in positive youth development and youth participatory action research theory. With strong adult partners, youth take the lead in analyzing local data, identifying assets, and creating dialogue with peers and community members around root causes and solutions for their concerns. Through these steps, they develop concrete action plans to improve youth health and well-being in their school and community. By providing a framework for youth to have a meaningful role in their schools and communities, GTY increases individual youth participants’ health literacy, knowledge, sense of self-efficacy, community engagement, and resilience, and protective factors.