CANFIT firmly believes that youth involvement in the planning, implementation and evaluation of projects is essential and ensures greater project success; therefore when supporting youth engagement work, CANFIT applies these principles:
- Provide a space where youth feel welcome, honored and can support each other;
- Present a realistic approach and lens, especially when dealing with challenging situations and/or if cultural boundaries are present;
- Apply an interactive and shared learning approach when discussing current policies and issues in their local communities and nationally;
- Support the development of leadership skills (e.g. how to present effectively, use media, teambuild and value diversity), and most of all – learn how this work can be fun for both adults and youth.
Kellogg National Youth Engagement Technical Assistance Provider - CANFIT is serving as the Youth Engagement Lead for 9 communities as part of the National Food and Community Program of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. These communities include Oakland, Seattle, Philadelphia, Boston, Holyoke, New York, Detroit, Northeast Iowa and the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona.
MO Youth e-Adovocates Project - CANFIT is working with teams of young people from 3 Building Healthy Community Sites around e-Advocacy - using online tools and social media (such as Facebook or Twitter) to create sustainable youth leadership for statewide nutrition and physical activity policy change. The youth leaders and their adult allies will learn how to use online tools strategically and communicate effective health messages while influencing their peers, community and elected officials.
Check out the CANFIT Teenz Page
Past Youth Engagement Work
Since 2008 CANFIT has been part of a team of technical assistance providers (TAP) for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Food and Fitness Initiative. CANFIT assessed youth engagement in communities across the country with respect to youth development, food systems, the built environment and cultural competency. CANFIT staff were instrumental in the planning, execution and follow up of four national youth convenings held in 2008 and 2009.
Youth Engagement Support & Technical Assistance
Many youth in low income communities and communities of color are interested in learning how to engage in healthy living, to advocate for health-behavior change and to develop more effective public voices. However, youth often have inequitable experiences obtaining health information and developing effective advocacy and policy change skills. Also, adult and youth partnerships may not be authentic enough for the youth to thrive.
CANFIT offers youth engagement support and youth trainings in nutrition and physical activity to youth-serving after school programs, community based organizations, faith-based organizations and agencies serving low-income youth and/or youth of color.
Need more youth voices in improving the health of your community? Check out MO Project and our signature MO Project youth training.
CANFIT also offers technical assistance in planning, program development, policy training and implementation support to community-based organizations, foundations, and government agencies seeking to improve community nutrition and physical activity for youth.
For more info about our consulting services, youth trainings or additional support, please contact us.