Peer to Peer Resources
See Resource Links to the left of this page.Creating Youth Advisory Councils Toolkit
Lessons Learned by Youth and Adults
This resource was developed by youth and adults to:
- Provide a “how to” guide for starting a youth advisory council
- Share resources and lessons learned
- Empower and inspire schools and districts to develop youth engagement opportunities
This guide is for elementary, secondary, and district-level councils. We created this resource from the lessons we learned by facilitating youth advisory councils that are concerned with addressing school and community health.
We recognize that the ideas presented here are unique to us and our council’s processes, but we know these ideas can be a springboard to creating, supporting, and improving leadership programs across Colorado. View the toolkit online or download the PDF.
Avatars Anonymous: A 6-Step Program (AA.6)
The objective of AA.6 is to teach high school students the importance of self-advocacy, how to implement longstanding solutions to health challenges, and the idea that health is a lifelong journey. Participants also come to grasp the idea that they control their own health, along with the understanding of how to live a healthy lifestyle. This curriculum was modeled on Colorado Health Standards but adapted for use in classrooms nationwide. It integrates the Colorado Health Standards in each step.
Additionally, it incorporates the 21st Century Learning Skills, which are a combination of critical thinking, invention, collaboration, self-direction, and information literacy. Although this curriculum provides a step-by-step process, lesson plans can be modified by instructors for individual classes, as needed. Instructors are also encouraged to bring their own expertise to the curriculum. It is important to note that this curriculum involves many discussion-based activities in which some students may be faced with uncomfortable topics provided by their research and their avatars (e.g., drug use and sexuality).
It is crucial that instructors provide a safe space for these discussions and establish norms around open and safe conversations. This curriculum was designed to increase students’ level of understanding about health issues and equip them with the ability to advocate for themselves and others through a number of activities, discussions, and blogging on the Avatars Anonymous website.
AA.6 was created in 2012 by a group of high school students known as the Community Health Action Team (CHAT) in response to the Colorado Department of Education’s request for CHAT’s leadership in building a curriculum that incorporated the Colorado Comprehensive Health and P.E. Standards. Below is a lesson plan key with brief description.
Water: It’s in Your Nature
Each school year, student leaders from the Jeffco Public School’s Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC) create resources or a campaign to engage their peers in messages of health. Our ongoing mission: “Pioneering the way toward balanced, healthy lifestyles and a quality learning environment by giving students a voice in health and bringing district-wide awareness and education around physical and mental well-being.”
Interested in getting students invested in the benefits of drinking water and understanding the consequences of sugary drinks? If so, you’ve come to the right place! This year, SHAC has partnered with the regional Healthy Beverage Partnership and the local Jeffco Sips Smart Coalition to bring you “WATER: It’s In Your Nature.” SHAC’s goal of spreading awareness about healthy beverage consumption starts in classrooms like yours. This resource includes four fun, engaging, educational activities designed by student leaders from SHAC. Students will learn about dehydration and how much water their bodies need, discover interesting facts about water and sugary drinks, and learn how to make their voices heard in their schools. These activities are designed to take about 15 minutes each, but feel free to adapt them to the culture and time available in your classroom. We encourage you to try them all and spread the word about the benefits of drinking water!
A School Without Hate
The Jeffco Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC) and Day Without Hate want YOU to foster a positive culture and climate in your school by using the PEACE Checklist.
Our School Without Hate Intro Video provides a brief tutorial.
Your school can earn the title of being A School Without Hate by completing the activities of the PEACE Checklist.
Pledge:Have your students sign a School Without Hate banner pledging to support a positive school environment (80% of the student body)
Environment:Take schoolwide action that improves your school’s culture and climate
Action:Encourage the entire school to wear white on the annual “Day Without Hate” in April
Challenge:Homerooms do at least one ReciPeace activity/card (60% of school)
Educate:As a school, review your district’s bullying policy
There are two PEACE Checklists, one for elementary school and another for middle and high schools, each with creative suggestions for successful completion. The ReciPeace cards are team-building activities designed to help students and teachers connect with each other while building a safe, positive environment for all. Using the School Without Hate thermometer, your student body can track your school’s progress. All materials are downloadable, except for the banner, which Kaiser Permanente provides upon request.
CAPS: Connecting, Asking, Participating, and Speaking Up
CAPS is a student-created initiative that includes brief activities and lessons focusing on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD). In 2013, Jeffco high school students were asked what information pertaining to health they wanted to know more about. The students overwhelmingly selected topics surrounding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, as a major concern. In response, SHAC developed four activities and lessons to complement the SHAC-created, video “Just Say Know.”
The video and activities can be used as stand-alone lessons or in a sequence. However, we suggest watching “Just Say Know” before moving to the activities.
Just Say Know: This 10-minute video asks experts to separate facts from myths when it comes to marijuana. Use it as an introduction to the topic of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, too.
Connecting This activity focuses on the importance of communication and advocacy. Students will be given cards with characters on them and must assume the role of their character. The characters include: a principal, teachers, students, family, or community members, etc. Each character has been affected by drugs or alcohol in some way and must seek help or help another character.
Downloadable Resources: Lesson Plan and Role Cards
Additional Resources Needed: None
Asking for Explanations This activity is to help students choose a goal and reflect on the steps needed to reach it. Students will create a poster with the steps needed to achieve their goal, and consequences or rewards for choices made along the way.
Downloadable Resources: Lesson Plan and Fact Sheets
Additional Resources Needed: Poster Board or Large Art-Paper and Art Supplies
Participate Knowing the Positives and Negatives This activity focuses on alcohol and drug advertising, and how it can affect individuals. Students will examine ads as a class and use similar techniques to create advertising messages that convey healthy choices.
Downloadable Resources: Lesson Plan and Advertisement Pictures
Additional Resources Needed: Art Supplies
Speaking Up Teenagers have many roles in their lives, and each one is different. This activity aims to heighten a student’s self-advocacy and communication skills. Students will be divided into groups and asked to help create messages about the effects of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco on different groups of society, including friends, family, and the community.
Downloadable Resources: Lesson Plan and Fact Sheets
Additional Resources Needed: Poster Board (optional) and Art Supplies
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