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Curriculum Guide

The Community Center Content Area


The Community Center encourages youth to explore leadership and community involvement. This content area is comprised of three units:

Click here for a complete Map of The Community Center.


Many youth leave secondary school never having had the chance to develop the skills necessary to be an effective leader. The Community Center provides youth with information about leadership roles and opportunities to gain and practice skills that will serve them throughout their lives. The Community Center also provides information on the benefits of mentoring and on finding or becoming a mentor. Finally, this neighborhood addresses getting involved in the community and how this can build skills useful in applying for postsecondary education and employment.

Youth with disabilities have additional material to engage with in The Community Center. This includes material to help youth learn about their disability and the kinds of support they may need when looking to become actively involved in their community, find a successful adult mentor with a disability, and more.

Youth Outcomes

By reading and completing online activities in The Community Center, youth will achieve the following outcomes:

  • Understand the concept of leadership and various ways one can be a leader.
  • Become involved in at least one new leadership activity either at school or in the community.
  • Understand the benefits of having a mentor and being a mentor.
  • Understand the benefits of community involvement.
  • Develop goals in the above areas in their Life Map.

See also:

Activities to Assign

In addition to the reading material available in each unit, there are numerous activities you may choose to assign youth. These include questions to consider for discussion or reflection, online and hands-on activities to complete, and other Web sites to explore.

1. Lead a Discussion

When working with youth in this content area, you may want to facilitate a group discussion about the topics explored in each unit. Below we’ve provided sample discussion questions to help youth explore each unit’s topic in more depth. These questions can also be used as writing assignments for youth to reflect on a topic, either confidentially in their Private Journal, or to be shared with you as their Youthhood Guide in their Class Notebook. (Note: You have the option to view and comment on their work in the Class Notebook. See Viewing & Commenting on Entries for more information.)

Discussion Questions for Leading Unit

  • Why is it important for businesses and organizations to have good leadership?
  • What kind of leadership skills are important to have?
  • Are you participating in leadership activities now, like school clubs, the student council, etc? Why or why not?
  • What leadership opportunities are available to you in organizations to which you belong?
  • What have you learned from exploring different aspects of leadership?
  • Did you include leadership goals in your Life Map? Why or why not?
  • What is one thing you might do differently in the future after learning about leadership?

Discussion Questions for Getting Involved Unit

  • Why is it important to become actively involved in your community?
  • Are you currently involved in some way in your local neighborhood or community? Why or why not?
  • What opportunities are there for involvement in your school, community, or neighborhood?

Discussion Questions for Mentoring Unit

  • Do you know someone who is a mentor or has a mentor? What has their experience been like?
  • Do you currently have a mentor? If so, how do they support your goals?
  • What have you learned about mentoring and how it can make a difference in your life?
  • Have you ever considered being a mentor? Why or why not?

2. Assign a "Youthhood Poll"

The Youthhood homepage has a new poll question every few weeks. Youth must be logged in to vote on a poll. See About the Youthhood Poll for more information.

3. Assign "My Youthhood" Activities

Here at The Youthhood we’ve designed numerous online activities to help youth build a strong foundation of knowledge and to apply the material on the Web site to their own life. These include the Private Journal, Activities Folder, Life Map, and Class Notebook and are part of the "My Youthhood" menu youth see when they log in. See Online Activities for more information.

Click here to Preview Online Activities in The Community Center.  

4. Assign Other Web Sites to Explore

There are some terrific Web sites available for youth to learn more about the topics covered in The Youthhood. You may wish to assign youth the task of exploring some of these Web sites.

Click here to Preview Web Sites Linked in The Community Center.

5. Assign Hands-On Activities

In addition to the existing materials on the site, you might create additional real-world, hands-on activities so that youth can see the concepts in action. The following are examples of hands-on activities you might assign youth in The Community Center:

  • Consider matching youth who have more leadership experience with those having less and have the youth with less experience interview the youth with more about being a leader. This is the perfect opportunity to create a natural mentoring process to complement this unit.
  • Help youth identify their strengths in the area of leadership. What have they already done that may contribute to being an effective leader? Try to help them matching their skills and strengths to an opportunity that will increase the likelihood of enjoyment and success in their endeavors.

Developing a Lesson Plan

We’ve provided some tips on how you might incorporate the interactive features with the content pages and your own supplemental activities to optimize learning for youth. See Developing a Lesson Plan.

Web Resources

Here are additional online resources for you as the Youthhood Guide to learn more about the topics presented within each unit of The Community Center. Titles with "(PDF)" are links to PDF documents, and require Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) to download.


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