The Media-Smart Youth® Teen Leaders Program is designed for teens/young adults ages 15 to 20 who are interested in bringing the Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active! ® program to their community.
In return, teens receive leadership experience, community service hours, and recognition from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To help them succeed, the NIH provides training, ongoing assistance, and $1,000 for program expenses.
Applications for the Teen Leaders Program are due October 24, 2014.
For more details, click on the links below.
Please note: The deadline for the 2014/2015 Teen Leaders Program has passed. To receive announcements about free resources and future opportunities, you may sign up for Media-Smart Youth e-updates.
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What Is Media-Smart Youth?
Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active! ® is an interactive education program designed to teach youth about the complex media world and how it can influence their health. The program includes 10 lessons with activities that explore media, nutrition, and physical activity, and concludes with a capstone project, the "Big Production"—a media product that youth participants create to encourage their peers to eat healthy and move more.
Throughout the program, youth analyze advertisements and make media messages of their own, try healthy snack recipes, and discover fun ways to be physically active.
The program—targeted for youth participants ages 11 to 13—was developed by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
How does the Teen Leaders Program work?
Teen leaders commit to carrying out the Media-Smart Youth program from start to finish—from planning the program and recruiting youth, to facilitating lessons and providing feedback at program's end. Teens may work either individually or as part of a team of up to three teens. In addition, the teen(s) will select an adult advisor and nonprofit partner to help with the program.
The teen leader/team selects an adult volunteer advisor (age 21 or up). The advisor could be a 4-H leader, for example, or a teacher, youth group leader, coach, parent, or any other adult excited about Media-Smart Youth.
The advisor is responsible for helping with program planning as needed, and being on site with the teen leader(s) during each lesson for its entire duration. The advisor may co-facilitate the lessons, depending on the preference of the teen leader(s).
The advisor is also required to take responsibility for managing field trips, should they take place. For example, the advisor would help collect parent permission slips, reserve transportation, secure additional adult volunteers for the visit as needed, and supervise the participants during the trip. Field trips are not a requirement of the program.
The teen leader/team also identifies a nonprofit organization to serve as a program partner. This may be a youth-serving organization like a local 4-H or Camp Fire club, a local chapter of the Parent Teacher Association, a school, a church, or another organization. In choosing a nonprofit partner, it may be helpful for the teen leader to work with a group the advisor may be affiliated with or an organization that can offer meeting space, help recruit youth participants, and/or promote the program. (In some cases, the nonprofit representative may also be the adult advisor.)
The primary role of the nonprofit partner is to receive the $1,000 from the NIH (in two installments of $500) and transfer the full amounts directly to the teen leader(s) to implement the Media-Smart Youth program.
The nonprofit partner must sign a Memorandum of Understanding about the funding transfers and complete W-9 and business self-certification forms.
Why should I become a Media-Smart Youth teen leader?
As a Media-Smart Youth teen leader, you will have the opportunity to play a meaningful role in the lives of youth in your community by educating them about media, nutrition, and physical activity.
In addition, you will receive the following benefits:
- A significant leadership experience to support your college application
- Community service hours (estimated at 50+ for a teen leader working independently)
- A certificate of recognition from the National Institutes of Health
- Hands-on experience in planning and leading a health education program in your community
What support do teen leaders receive?
The Media-Smart Youth team will provide everything you need to successfully carry out the program:
- Free Facilitator's Packets for you and your adult advisor, with step-by-step instructions for each lesson
- $1,000 to cover program costs
- A training webinar for you, your advisor, and nonprofit partner
- Ongoing assistance, as needed, via email or phone
- Promotional materials
What are the teen leader's responsibilities and expected time commitment?
If selected as a Media-Smart Youth teen leader, you will be responsible for all phases of program planning, implementation, and reporting, with guidance from your adult advisor and nonprofit partner as needed.
Leading a successful program requires a significant time commitment. Below is a break-down of key program activities and the estimated hours needed to complete them. Actual times will vary.
Program planning, preparation, and recruitment (10 to 15 hours)
- Enlisting an adult advisor and nonprofit partner (may be the same person, if the adult advisor is employed by the nonprofit partner organization)
- Identifying a site for the lessons
- Identifying dates and times to hold the lessons
- Preparing an estimated program budget
- Participating in an initial training, via webinar
- Recruiting 10 to 15 youth to participate (preferably youth in the targeted age range of 11 years to 13 years, if possible)
- Getting signed permission slips from youth's parents
- [Optional] Identifying a media partner to assist with the program (e.g., to provide a guest speaker, assist with the Big Production, and/or to host a field trip)
Preparing for and leading lessons (35 to 45 hours)
- Preparing for each lesson—reviewing the lesson and getting the necessary supplies and snacks
- Facilitating each lesson—ten 90-minute lessons, plus an additional 2 to 3 sessions for the Big Production
- Gauging youth's learning with pre- and post-curriculum activities (questionnaires on program content are provided)
Checking in and reporting (5 to 7 hours)
- Participating in check-in calls with NIH and other teen leaders during the program (2 calls, dates TBD)
- Providing input on progress, via email, midway through the program
- Providing final input at program's end (more details to teen leaders will be forthcoming). If possible, the teen leader(s) should also submit a group photo, provided parents of pictured youth give their permission, and/or a copy of the Big Production for use in future promotional materials.
How do I apply?
We're looking for teens/young adults ages 15 to 20 to lead the Media-Smart Youth program for a group of 10 to 15 youth in Spring/Summer 2015. Follow these five steps to apply.
Step 1: Review the program.
Order the free Media-Smart YouthFacilitator's Packet at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/msy/materials. Carefully review the curriculum with your parents or caregivers to learn more about the program's objectives and structure. If you choose to work as part of a team of teens, identify your teammate(s) and discuss the program with them, too, along with the key dates.
Step 2: Identify an adult advisor.
Remember, this may be anyone age 21 or older—a teacher, youth group leader, or other individual excited about Media-Smart Youth. He or she should be committed to overseeing your progress and helping as needed, being on site for the duration of each lesson, and coordinating field trips if you take any (they're not required). He or she should also be available to attend one of the webinar trainings in December for teen leaders and their advisors.
Step 3: Identify a nonprofit partner.
The nonprofit partner's job is to transfer funds from the NIH to you. The organization may also be able to assist with providing meeting space, recruiting youth participants, and promoting the program. (In some cases, the nonprofit partner representative and the adult advisor may be the same person, if the adult advisor is employed by the nonprofit partner organization.)
Step 4: Choose the location, dates, and times.
Media-Smart Youth can be used in many places—such as middle schools, after-school programs, and camps—and by many types of youth-serving organizations, like a local 4-H or Camp Fire club, Girl Scout troop, or church youth group. To make recruitment easier, ask if Media-Smart Youth may be added to an existing program that young people already attend.
Media-Smart Youth is also flexible; lessons may take place several days in a row or once a week for 2 to 3 months.
Work with your advisor to determine dates and times for the program.
Step 5: Complete and submit the application.
The teen leader(s) should complete the application, get the needed signatures, and submit the application by mail, email, or fax using the contact information below. Applications are due by October 24, 2014.
Only one application is required per team. Please be sure to provide the name and contact information for each team member.
ATTN: Media-Smart Youth
NICHD Information Resource Center
P.O. Box 3006
Rockville, MD 20847
ATTN: Media-Smart Youth
How will my application be reviewed?
The Media-Smart Youth team will evaluate your application, considering the following:
- Is the application complete?
- Why do you want to bring Media-Smart Youth to your community?
- Do you have a well-defined strategy for recruitment and implementation?
- Have you identified any potential community partners to help support the program?
- Does the budget justification seem reasonable?
The Media-Smart Youth team aims to support diverse groups of youth by selecting teen leaders from communities across the country, to the extent possible.
What's the timeline for this program?
Below are the program's key dates:
||September 15, 2014|
|Informational conference calls (optional)
Includes Q&A for interested applicants
1-866-692-4538; code: 2360414#
|October 7 and October 16, 7:30–8:30 p.m. EDT|
||October 24, 2014|
||By November 21, 2014|
|Webinar training (required)
Teens and adult advisors each must attend one of the two trainings—and they don't have to be the same one. Participation is recommended, but not required, for nonprofit partners.
|December 13, 1:00–3:00 p.m. EST, or|
December 17, 7:00–9:00 p.m. EST
|1st funds distributed
||After participation in the required training|
|Interim feedback due
||5 weeks after program begins|
Note: If lessons happen more frequently than once a week, the interim feedback should be emailed earlier, at the program's halfway point.
|2nd funds distributed
||Upon receipt of the interim feedback|
|Final input due
||Within 1 month of program's end |
(More details will be forthcoming)
Note: Teen leaders should also plan to participate in 2 check-in calls; dates and times TBD.
How do I get more information?
To learn more about the Media-Smart Youth program, check out the video "What is Media-Smart Youth?" and explore the Media-Smart Youth website.
To learn more about the Teen Leaders Program, join one of the informational conference calls we're holding for interested applicants. Each call will include a brief overview of the Teen Leaders Program, with plenty of time for Q&A.
October 7 and October 16, 7:30–8:30 p.m. EDT
Call-in information: 1-866-692-4538; code: 2360414#
More questions? Contact Kelly Clay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-221-4247.
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