Institute for Community Leadership Programs
This program brings to youth an understanding of different democracies and ways in which we and they might integrate in civic and social participation in our families, schools and communities. Democracy Education, based on reading, writing and youth-to-youth coaching, prepares individuals to speak and advocate for that which is important to themselves and what they consider important to their race, culture and/or their economic station. Democracy Education assists in the development of confidence, self-respect and respect for others, and it helps individuals integrate into their immediate surroundings. This calls for the reduction of hours one watches television, surfs the internet for entertainment, and the reduction in time in the use of cell phones and iPods. ICL Research Study shows reduction of television time from an average of 8 hours a day to less than 3 hours; reduction of videogame time from an average of 3 hours a day to less than one hour; increase in grade point average of .8 GPA within 8 weeks of programming.
Democracy Education integrates youth into voter education campaigns as a method to develop civic participation. This program also assists in an increase within schools of unified and harmonious student relationships of students from distinct racial, cultural or economic groups. Democracy Education prepares for ethical leadership for personal and social responsibility.
Garden Corps is a public education campaign directed at reducing the high rate of childhood onset of obesity and diabetes. Students research information about the cause of these diseases, the costs to families and society, and ways to prevent them. Students maintain a quarter acre garden at the O’Dell Education Center. They speak and advocate for a life-style of eating fresh foods and for being active either in sports, outside activity or work. The program advocates for a reduction in eating food at fast food restaurants, and for reducing snacking on the unhealthy diet available at every store or gas station, but also available at most schools.
Salmon Habitat, Habitat Restoration and the Laws of the Life Cycle
This program focuses on reading, writing, advocating, and working on restoration projects. The program offers very basic science of maintaining healthy streams, rivers and oceans. It educates about the life of the salmon. It also educates on the life cycle of all living things. These sessions utilize the streams stewarded by the O’Dell Education Center, and includes visits to various other centers (Seattle Aquarium, Nisqually Wildlife Preserve, and hatcheries on the Quinault Nation). The program assists students in their capacity to advocate for changes in life-styles that help protect salmon habitat and water. It also assists them in arousing hundreds of other students and mobilizing them to work projects for habitat restoration.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Recent successes include: Kent School District ongoing Ethical Leadership and Community Service Programming: Throughout the third largest and one of the most ethnically and socioeconomically diverse school districts in the State of Washington.
O’Dell Education Center trainings, classes and environmental conservation efforts: On the beautiful 20 acre education center campus in South King County.
Quinault Canoe Project with Master Carver Guy Capoeman: developing cultural power through participating in the building of a cedar canoe from a 1000 year old cedar tree and studying the Tribes’ care for the water, salmon and natural resources.
Education Crisis and Economic Crisis: Teach Ins for a Stronger Democracy, an intensive seven week tour through Washington, Oregon and California. Delegation participants meet with and learn from local leadership and organizations regarding the impact of these crises and addressing such questions as: what are taxes? who determines the federal budget? how has the crisis in our schools affected our communities?
ICL Youth Keynote City of Kent's You We Me Event at the Showare Center, along with Mayor Suzette Cooke and representatives of America's Promise and KSD, to a crowd of over 2000 families, parents and youth.
Current Challenge: ICL embarks upon a new project, Operation Liftoff, a three year initiative involving 30 of families of South King County in an effort to dramatically increase academic achievement and civic engagement. Programming integrates a strong family engagement component with math and science tutoring, democracy education classes, character development and travel.