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News from the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative | August 1, 2014
Keeping Busy This Summer!

 

The SYVPI team was busy on all fronts in July--from youth activities, to neighborhood events, national and international trips, and a day out to reflect, recharge and regroup. Following are highlights from just a few of the happenings that kept our partners on the move in July.retreat

 

 

"Retreat" Moves Initiative Forward  

 

On the morning of July 16, the members of SYVPI laced up and put boots to the ground for the annual retreat. This year, Initiative members came together at the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation's scenic Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing Center to see how they can better help the kids they serve.

 

The morning started off with introductions all around and then transitioned into a formal address by Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim. "We want to ensure that we support the work that all of you are doing" said Kim, who affirmed that youth are a top priority for the Mayor's office. She expressed that youth violence is an intricate problem that requires careful monitoring at all levels by the city and within the community. While solving the issues of youth violence will not be a quick fix, the reinforcement of a nurturing community coming together to work on the same problem brings the Initiative a big step closer to the solution.

 

Kim's talk was followed by small group activities that kept participants busy analyzing how their individual efforts connected with each others' to produce collective impact.

 

The centerpiece of the retreat was a presentation by University of Washington School of Social Work professor Dr. Todd Herrenkohl, PhD. Herrenkohl, an expert on youth violence, has been working with SYVPI to develop a strategy for evaluating the Initiative's effectiveness. His talk centered on risk and protective factors and the prevention of youth violence.    

 

After lunch, team members took part in challenge course activities led by youth who had just completed facilitator training offered by the Department of Parks and Recreation and funded by SYVPI. The retreat was the youth facilitators' first time leading sessions on their own. They demonstrated excellent leadership skills and will certainly have more opportunities to use them at future events.

 

Relationships were definitely strengthened at the retreat. Among the conclusions reached during the day was that a key to effectiveness is having a network of others around you who share the same passion for their work. The annual SYVPI retreat serves to revitalize that passion and build the collaborations needed to build a successful safety net for youth.

 

Photos and text for this article were contributed by Khoa Nguyen, SYVPI's summer Photo Journalist hired through the Rainier Scholars program. basketball

 


 

   

 

Increasing the Peace Through Basketball

 

Youth, families, community members, volunteers and many of SYVPI's partner agencies came together at the Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center on Friday, July 18 for the First Annual Peace N the Hood 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament. Spearheaded by Terrell Rosetti, Youth Engagement Program Coordinator for SYVPI's Southwest Network, the day was packed with music, food, raffles, and, of course, basketball.

 

Rosetti attributed the success of the tournament to the many volunteers who helped with the event. These include the Peace N the Hood Committee made up of Outreach Workers and other staff from SYVPI's Southwest Network, King County Violence Prevention Program staff, community members, and the youth who provided input during the planning stages, created the peace signs and banners, and who helped out throughout the event itself.  

 

 

Tournament winners and runners up went home with trophies, but the real prize of the day was the opportunity for youth to interact with each other and adults in a spirit of friendly competition and support, and the personal pledges made by individuals to increase the peace within their own neighborhoods. Learn more and see more pictures...international

 

Mariko Lockhart, Asia Bishop, and Sarah Walker at the AT-CURA Conference in Vancouver, BC
Innovative Evaluation Process Highlighted at International Conference 

 

SYVPI Director Mariko Lockhart, University of Washington School of Social Work professor Dr. Todd Herrenkohl and Research Assistant Professor Sarah Walker and Research Assistant Asia Bishop of the University of Washington's Public Behavioral Health and Justice Policy traveled to the Acting Together - Community-University Research Alliance (AT-CURA) Project Youth Strengths Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia from July 23 - 25. In addition to networking with other community-university partnerships, the group attended the conference to make a presentation titled "Applying an Innovative Developmental Evaluation Framework to the Study of Youth Violence Prevention in an Urban Context: Themed Collaboration."

 

The Seattle team shared their work in developing a system for evaluating SYVPI's effectiveness using an innovative Developmental Evaluation (DE) framework. DE is an emerging approach to program evaluation that is considered particularly well suited to evaluating comprehensive programs such as SYVPI that are still in their formative stages, and which will allow the program to continue to adapt to complex and changing environments.

 

Click here to view a PowerPoint presentation from the conference.corner

 

 

 

Corner Greeters Turn Hot Spots into Fun Spots

 

"5 Corners, 5 Themes, 5 Weeks, 5 Opportunities to Make a Difference" is the theme of five events taking place this summer between July 23rd and August 20th in the Rainier Beach neighborhood as part of the Corner Greeters project.

 

The Corner Greeters are part of the Department of Justice Byrne grant-funded hot spot crime reduction project called Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth. The community-generated idea to help reduce crime was selected by popular vote at The Gathering event on May 31 where community residents and stakeholders shared their ideas on how to make the Rainier Beach neighborhood a safe and welcoming place. Participants selected "Corner Greeters" to be deployed at each of the five Byrne project hot spots of youth crime. Volunteers staff the events, giving out refreshments, welcoming passers-by and offering information about the neighborhood and local events.  

 

The first Corner Greeter event was held at Rose Street, where passers-by received a flower in addition to refreshments. On July 30, Corner Greeters near Rainier Ave S & Henderson Street taught locals how to make hula hoops and offered opportunities for them to show off their skills. The goal of the Corner Greeters is to make Rainier Beach a more welcoming and friendly neighborhood and to increase collective efficacy through community engagement.

 

A quote from a community volunteer reflects the impact of this type of activity:

 

I'm glad that I decided to be a Corner Greeter yesterday. Yes, I'm looking forward to "Peace Putts" and "Harambee Drumming Circle"... When I walked home from Zumba I saw a Somali mother and her two sons who were hula hoop recipients. I asked her if she enjoyed herself. Her face lit up in a big smile and she said "yes!" There's much to be said for Community Conversations and Connections. Thank you for making a sunny day even brighter for yourself and everyone around you. - Betty Lowe, Rainier Beach Resident

 

The remaining scheduled Corner Greeter events, all from 3:30 to 5:30 pm are:

  • Wednesday, August 6, "Fold in Peace" at the intersection of South Henderson & Martin Luther King Way South featuring origami lessons
  • Wednesday, August 13, "Peace Putts" at the Rainier Beach Safeway parking lot with a miniature putting green
  • Wednesday, August 20, "Harambee Drumming Circle" at Rainier & Henderson Plaza

 

For more information, contact Barb Biondo, 206.322.6134 or barb@sngi.org or visit the Byrne Grant project website at http://safeplaceforyouth.weebly.com/.spelling

 

 

 

Mentoring Program Youth: Winners All!

 

Six youth, two mentors from the 4C Coalition, and two parents traveled from Seattle to Orlando, Florida in July to attend the National Alliance of Faith and Justice's 6th Annual Take a Stand to Keep a Seat National Youth Mentoring Training Summit. The summit was held in collaboration with the 41st Annual Conference and Training Institute of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and officially launched a multi-year national focus on the cooperation of law enforcement, incarcerated parents, mentors, and youthful stakeholders in reducing the "school to prison pipeline" from America's classrooms, particularly for African American males.

 

The six youth who attended are participants in the 4C Coalition's SYVPI group mentoring program. At the summit, mentors and mentees engaged in and supported learning during summer months to help stem the learning losses that all young people experience when they do not engage in educational activities. They used the PEN OR PENCILâ„¢ (POP) program, a national group mentoring initiative that focuses on connecting young people with the educational system (the pencil) to head towards success and keep them out of "the pen"(penitentiary). One facet of the POP education portfolio is "Spell It Like It Is," a spelling competition that features words from the various components of the POP National Initiative such as "disproportionality," "efficacy," "peonage," and "victimization."

 

On their return from the summit, the 4C Coalition proudly announced that Jasmine Smith of Seattle (on far left in picture above) was the winner of this year's competition. Fourteen years old and a participant in the 4C's Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative Group Mentoring program, Jasmine graduated from Denny International Middle School and will be attending Chief Sealth High School this fall. Jasmine's accomplishment was recognized by the City Council at a televised committee meeting on July 30th. Jasmine's appearance appears in the first five minutes of the   following video on the Seattle Channel: http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=2401451

 

This is the second year a 4C mentee has taken home top honors. In 2013, 4C mentee Savannah Bell won the national contest in Washington, DC during the 50th Year Anniversary of the March on Washington. Savannah is currently a senior at Rainier Beach High School.

 

Learn more about the Pen or Pencil Mentoring Program at the 4C Coalition at http://www.the4ccoalition.org/. walk

 

 

 

   

Find It, Fix It Walk on August 12 

 

We reported on the Mayor's Find It, Fix It Walks in last month's newsletter. The next walk is scheduled for Tuesday, August 12th at 7pm and will cover several of the Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth hot spots.  

 

We encourage everyone to come out for this walk, which is the last of the walks currently scheduled. These events have become so popular that the Mayor's office is receiving requests from all over the city to hold them in other neighborhoods.  

 

Learn more about the walks on the Mayor's website at http://murray.seattle.gov/finditfixit/#sthash.Zq8MSFyo.dpbs.  

  

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Safe Youth, Safe Community is a newsletter published by the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. Our mission is to prevent and reduce youth violence, which has disproportionately affected communities of color in Seattle, through coordinated community mobilization to identify youth at risk of perpetuating or being a victim of violence and connect them with needed support in reaching their full potential. For more information, please visit our website www.safeyouthseattle.org. 

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