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New NLC resource encourages state leagues to support youth development.

A new resource for state municipal leagues and state-based youth-serving organizations is now available from NLC.

"Youth Development in Cities & Towns: A Guide for State Municipal Leagues and Other State-Based Organizations" highlights strategic opportunities for state organizations as they encourage and support the youth development work of local officials.

The publication draws from the experience of various state municipal leagues, including the youth development project of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns Foundation (IACTF), as well as cities and towns across the country.

Municipal Interest

A total of 76 percent of local officials believe that the involvement of youth in municipal government is very important (35 percent) or somewhat important (41 percent), according to the results of NLC's recent Strengthening Families survey.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the number of municipalities engaged in youth development activities and strategies is significant. More than 70 percent of municipalities provide opportunities for youth community service, and 41 percent of cities and towns have youth councils.

At the same time, however, 41 percent of respondents say that their community is doing a less than adequate job of meeting the needs of children 13 and older.

Cities and towns are actively seeking resources to help them meet the needs of youth.

Last fall, more than 60 cities applied for 11 technical assistance slots from NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families.

Help from State-Based Organizations

This publication outlines several strategies that state leagues and other state-based organizations can use to connect to cities and towns and provide them with the resources they need to successfully support youth in their communities.

For example, state municipal leagues, because of their structure and existing activities, are well positioned to expand their interaction with local elected officials to include issues of youth development.

Using a variety of strategies outlined in this publication, they can:

* Educate municipal officials about youth development opportunities;

* Provide technical assistance to municipalities;

* Establish networks of municipal officials interested in these issues;

* Generate partnerships with youth serving organizations in the state; and/or

* Carry out state-level advocacy on issues related to youth.

This publication also suggests ways that state-based youth-serving organizations can help to meet the needs of local elected officials.

For example, these groups can invite municipal officials to participate in their conferences and can purposefully disseminate information to them in ways that are comprehensible, useful and accessible to local policy makers.

Details: Each state municipal league director will receive a copy this new guide later this summer. To obtain additional copies, contact Alicia Johnson at ajohnson@nlc.org or 202-626-3046.

This NLC guide is a companion piece to "Youth Development: A Guide for Municipal Officials," published in 2003 by the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns Foundation. For copies of the Indiana publication, contact Tracy Williams-Fadlevic at twilliams@citiesandtowns.org or 317-237-6200.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Johnson, Alicia
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 11, 2003
Words:470
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