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“… we will urge all National Spiritual Assemblies to consider the junior youth groups formed through programmes implemented by their training institutes a fourth core activity its own right and promote its wide-scale multiplication. ” Universal House of Justice December 27, 2005
What is a Junior Youth Group? A group of 12 -14 years old who meet regularly to study and discuss the lessons of junior youth courses with an animator. They also engage in artistic, extracurricular and small service activities.
Who is an ANIMATOR of Junior Youth Group? An individual who has: § Completed Ruhi books 1, 2 and 3 § Trained in the curriculum of the Spiritual Empowerment of Junior Youth Program § Capable of facilitating a Jr. Youth Group
What is the Spiritual Empowerment of Junior Youth Program? A program adopted by the Magdalene Carney Bahá’i Institute in 2004 that focuses onthe spiritual and moral empowerment, and intellectual and social development of Jr. Youth.
What is the Purpose of the Program? The Program is designed to empower junior youth and: § Foster their spiritual identity § Create a moral structure in their lives § Empower them to serve humanity § Develop their power of expression
“Strategiesto advance the process of entry by troops cannot ignore childrenand junior youth, if the victories won in one generation are not to be lost with the passage of time. It is imperative, then, that at this point in the process of systematization the teachingwork, definite of steps be takento ensure thatthe visionof the community fully embraces its young members” Universal House of Justice, (1999)
Jr. Youth Groups in ACTION § Engage in acts of service § Develop a sense of responsibility § Develop nobility of self § Contribute to community life
Jr. Youth Material Breezes of Confirmation (12 years old) Walking the Straight Path (13 years old) Drawing on the Power of the Word (14 years old)
What Kind of Capabilities Do These Materials Develop? § Capacities that enhance the power of expression § Capacities that help junior youth recognize the moral issues underlying everyday decisions and identify the moral implications of speech and actions
Junior Youth Group Activities Art Studying the Lessons • • • Reading/ Writing Memorization Discussion Question/Answer Role-play Demonstration Recreation • Snacks • Outdoor /Indoor • Games • • Crafts Poetry Drama/Skits Appreciation of Music Story telling Dance Songs Extra. Curricular Activities Service • Learning about environment • Appreciation of nature • Environmental preservation activities • Honoring Elders • World Citizenship • Visit to museums • Field trips • Role-play • Games
MCBI’s Experience With Junior Youth 1998 - 2001 Retreats Ecological Camps Jr. Youth and Youth Groups 2001 - present Youth Character Development Program (for the greater community) 2004 Animators Training 2005 Empowerment Campaign
Project Coordinator JRY Group Animator Children’s Class Teacher Tutor / Home Visits Teacher of the Cause Youth Service Program 2 to 12 Months during and after high school Project Badí Reading Circle 17 Team Leadership Training Project Badí Reading Circle Co-Animator of JRY Group Children’s Class Teacher Tutor / Home Visits Teacher of the Cause 16 Jr. Youth Animators Training Project Badí Reading Circle Teacher for Children’s Class Co-Animator of JRY Group 15 High School Training Campaign Project Badí Reading Circle Project Team Leader JRY Group Animator Children’s Class Teacher Tutor / Home Visits Teacher of the Cause Service to Community & Environment 18 Book 7 Book 1 – Book 2 – Book 3 Drawing on the 14 Service to Neighborhood & Environment Walking the Straight Path 13 Service to Environment Breezes of Confirmation Book 4 Book 6 Power of the Word 12 years old MCBI Junior Youth Empowerment and Youth Leadership Programs
Lessons Learned § Junior youth are a very receptive age group. § Families of junior youth are receptive to the Institute’s programs. § The most receptive populations for junior youth programs in the South are: • Caribbean • African American • Latino § The program needs to be easily accessible to the junior youth.
Lessons Learned § Developing and nurturing animators requires intense and ongoing effort. § Junior youth are very attracted to service activities. § Activities of a junior youth group should be well balanced. § Junior youth enjoy to be part of teaching campaigns if they are systematically trained. § Reaching out to families is easy, once their junior youth are engaged in a junior youth group.
MCBI’s Strategies for Spiritual Empowerment of Jr. Youth Program § Increase the number of animators § Multiply Jr. Youth groups § Integrate Jr. Youth groups with other core activities
Multiplication of Junior Youth Groups in a Cluster
Multiplication of Junior Youth Groups in a Cluster
INTEGRATION of ACTIVITIES CC Children Classes SP B 1 JRY group CC SP B 1 Parents Siblings Spiritual Parenting SP B 1 CC DEVOTIONALS Ruhi Book 1
“It is extremely difficult to teach the individual and refine his character once puberty is passed. By then, as experience hath shown, even if every effort be exerted to modify some tendency of his, it all availeth nothing. He may, perhaps, improve somewhat; but let a few days pass and he forgetteh, and turneth backwards to his habitual condition and accustomed ways” ‘Abdu’l-Bah á