Let’s Recap – Spring 2017

June 27, 2017

Caring for Bikes!

This has been a wonderful academic year. However, I have been sparse on the blogging front. I do enjoy blogging, especially that moment when an idea or an imperative for me to write presents. Then I write.

Amid all the current work — and I am immersed in curriculum and program writing and development — comes this pause To Reflect. To scan back over these last few months – to consider what has happened.

March – The month closed out at the National Youth Leadership Conference where I did several presentations. Always an eager group of attendees clearly, by choosing to come to the conference on service learning, already arriving with a vested interest in service learning. Glad to be part of their experience.

April – New York, New York! What a wonderful town! Sometimes I think I live in the Big Apple with the frequency of visits to . . .
— Lead workshops on How to Run a Dynamic Advisory Program — email me to learn more
— Continue developing the NYC Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council programs

With multiple trips, I will confess to enjoying the NYC theatre scene, always a pleasure and a treasure and harkens me back to my theatre days . . . that’s another story. BROADWAY!

May – A wonderful trip again to Beijing, this time to lead workshops for local educators and international school educators, and international school high school students.

Bikes need our help!

About 60 local educators attended my two-day service learning workshop (yes, I have a translator). They do have my book, The Complete Guide to Service Learning in Chinese which is quite exciting to see. When leading this previously, there were typically K-12 educators and administrators. This year, the organizers and I were a bit surprised by the enrollment of about 25 preschool-kindergarten educators. The adaptations I made were well suited to the entire group. What was most delightful was discovering a stellar example of service learning led by one of the kinder teachers, Yang Li, a teacher from Beijing Sanjiao Temple Kindergarten. She and her students had been on the lookout for an issue in their backyard. And they found one. Beijing has a bike rental program, similar to what you see in many cities in the United States. The problem the young children identified was this: people were not being kind to the bikes! They were throwing them anywhere and not keeping them clean. The children made a plan. They cleaned the bikes, set them properly where they belonged ss others could rent them, and made a heart to leave on each, asking the renters to respect and care for the bikes. Enjoy the photos!

Cleaning and caring for bikes!

The interaction with the educators (in English) at the Beijing City International School was most uplifting. They are dedicated to their students and eager to weave in best practices of service learning. I do confess a highlight was the day when students came from six international schools to collaborate together on concepts of leadership, service learning and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. All I can say is WOW! We had a great time with nonstop lively interactions where students connected, learned, planned, and everyone felt uplifted by the experience. The accompanying teachers also participated (at “teacher tables”) and understood both the processes and the engaging strategies that I talk about so much (see this article on Engaging Teaching Styles).

Yes, I will be returning to Beijing for MORE in November!

May also had me enjoying the elder community in the City of West Hollywood, a municipality tucked between Beverly Hills and Hollywood. This is the place where I launched my consulting life, and ever since I began, in 1993, they have engaged me in numerous worthwhile and varied types of consultation. This time – Elders Month, and planning a three-hour event on Connections and Community. We had a great turnout, people with such rich experience and much to share, and sensational outcomes. As a result, more elders from the West Hollywood community know of ways to connect and also contribute, and have plans to tell others so the message and opportunities continue to spread. Fabulous.

In May, we launched the NYC Mayor’s Youth Leadership Councils Campus Program, bringing together leadership from a small group of schools, to inform them about the program and process . . . in preparation for June 8 (see June).

Kids finding a need, caring, and taking action = service learning!

Also in May, CBK Consultant Maureen Connolly brought her NYC Service in Schools Youth Leadership high school students together (having spent a week developing leadership skills and plans for this May event), and they led 250 elementary children in an immersive service learning experience!

May and June – For the sixth year in a row, I headed to Tahlequah, Oklahoma to provide professional development to teachers who will implement Strategies for Success: A Literacy Program that Serves with middle school students during the summer. This program, with a history of being used around the globe, builds incremental, transferable skills in dynamic ways that strengthen learning. The process offers a non-judgmental environment for students to engage with their peers, and builds engaging teaching practices for the teachers. We had educators returning for a 3rd and 4th round of PD because they find value in rethinking these processes, and each time we go deeper. The service learning stories that emerge from this summer program show that every student can be engaged in community. Held May 31 and June 2, and sponsored through a grant received by the Cherokee Nation. As a side note, I have been consulting with the Cherokee Nation since 1994. Wow.

June is still in process, however much has already occurred!

             UNIS, United Nations International School, NYC, has selected my advisory program for their middle school, grades 5-8. This occurred as a result of two days of professional development, in-depth conversations, and collaboration with administration and teachers all to ensure this would be a good fit, and to prepare for the custom designing that is part of what I provide.

             NYC Mayor’s Office Youth Leadership Councils (YLC) Campus Program took off! On June 8, about 60 people, high school youth and teachers, for a program led by CBK Associates team – Maureen Connolly, M. Anthony Hopkins, and me, along with our colleague Barbara Cervone from What Kids Can Do. From the moment the youth arrived they were drawing quote art, then diving into conversations with their peers to consider how their school culture and climate is working well and what can be improved. We went nonstop for over four hours, and the attention level was high the entire time. This we look for – meaningful engagement, and developing the skills youth need to return back to their schools to initiate or participate in purposeful change. More to come for YLCs as CBK Associates has been awarded a contract to continue our participation through June 2018!

            More Advisory Programs! I provided one day workshops for the Nichols School in Buffalo, and the East Woods School in Long Island. These one day events assist schools to examine their best practices, and to formulate solid concepts for advisory moving forward. As a result, some schools decide to adopt CBK Associates Advisory Programs – however our intent is to lift schools up from where they are and provide practical ideas they can use.

             In My Own Backyard – Polytechinic School in Pasadena has contracted with CBK Associates for a three-part series to enliven service learning. The first day was spent with school faculty on June 13 and this will continue in August and September, and involve parents as well!

NOW I am home and developing program content for advisory and the Youth Leadership Councils. I value every moment I can be with family and enjoy Los Angeles.

STILL ROOM at the Summer Advisory and Service Learning Institute! Always room for you! Check it out – July 18-20 outside Albany.

I have an exciting calendar coming up. Beginning in August, my travels will be: Cuba, Stuttgart (Germany), Greensboro (North Carolina), Cleveland (Ohio), Pasadena (California), Costa Rica, Chang Mai (Thailand), Cairo, Valencia (Spain), and Beijing. And all before Thanksgiving!

TWO Service Learning Institutes in Asia in the fall: October 21-22 in Chang Mai, Thailand, and November 18-19 in Beijing. Email me for more info. 

Let us know if CBK Associates can assist you. We have a group that keeps growing and I am so excited with the talents of each new member – to be profiled in an UP-coming blog!

Happy Summer! Stay active – participate. Remember civic engagement is critical for a robust, safe and free society.

ONE MORE ITEM! This past weekend I immersed myself in a two-day Western Organizing Weekend to UPskill my abilities for political participation and organizing and mobilizing. This will bring new and exciting content to my work. Interested? Email me!



Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A.

Follow me on Twitter @cbkaye and on Facebook, Linked In and Declara at Cathryn Berger Kaye

Ready to schedule a workshop, keynote or presentation for 2017-2019? Email Ask about our new Youth Leadership ProgramsMiddle School and High School Advisory Programs, and other customized programs and curricula for in-school and after-school programs. 

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