Middle School Program Recruitment and Retention Resources for OST

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Middle School StudentsMiddle School is a very important time for youth development.  Transitions and change highlight this difficult period that many youth have to learn to manage. Middle school OST play an important role in these youths’ lives. This means that programs need to be supportive and engaging while allowing youth to take ownership of their clubs and experiences as they start to make sense of their approaching adulthood and purpose in the world.  Here are some great resources to help get your program in shape for middle school youth:

Eight Core StrategiesThis booklet is a great way to start thinking about your program.  What is the program’s focus?  Why does it exist?  How is it fulfilling its mission and vision?  Learn more at the United Way Outcome Series 1 & 2 workshops. The next workshops will be on 2/21, 2/25, 3/11, 3/14 at the United Way, 1709 Ben Franklin Pkwy.  Sign up here.

Middle School Recruitment and Retention:  A workshop conducted at PHMC.  You can find a tip sheet here:  Middle School Program Tip Sheet.


Middle School Resources for OST on Scoop.it: The OST Project curates several boards with articles and resources about OST programs, especially middle school. Click on the link above to visit our main page and see our latest topics.

Different Groups and Clubs for Youth: Once you have a core strategy and your students, what should you do with them? Try building different groups and clubs to center youth efforts.  These names used for clubs in this resource are somewhat general, so make sure to have youth help name them.  This will bring buy-in and make marketing much easier.

School District of PhiladelphiaSchool District Relations PracticesThis is a document that provides so best practices for working with school district principals.  There are some great resources available at the end, too. This document was adapted for Philadelphia from this United Way sponsored document.

Middle School OST PowerPoint Resources on SlideShare

Middle School Resources on SlideShare.Net: The OST Project has posted its powerpoint for both Middle School Program Design and Transition Activities & Attention Getters on SlideShare.net.  SlideShare.net also offers other great middle school program resources, too, like this one on 21st Century Skills, and this one about Career Development.

Sample Projects – Middle School Gender Roles (YouTube Video):  While conducted at a middle school in New Jersey, the ideas behind the project are worth thinking about.  You can pitch the idea to youth, or just use some of the critical thinking structures. Click here to find more sample projects that you can adjust based on your youth’s preferences and interests.

These resources are just a start to enhance your middle school program.  The ride can be bumpy, but it can change the youths’ lives for the better.

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