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University of California at Davis Public Policy Institute and University of California Cooperative Extension — A Public Service Partnership (NIF Report)

This 2001 report by Carole A. Paterson, Community and 4-H Youth Development Advisor  – UC Cooperative Extension, examines the activities and sustained relationship between the University of California, UC Davis, Cooperative Extension and the Public Policy Institute established there.  See the NIF website for more details.  From the report…

Additionally some startling statistics surfaced in a community in close proximity to the university campus that revealed local teen pregnancy rates were some of the highest in the state. One zip code area in this community of 115,000 was deemed a “hot spot” in California’s ratings. In response the school district developed a comprehensive project, called PAPA (Promoting Awareness, Providing Alternatives) to combat this crisis. One initiative in this many-pronged effort was local forums to engage the community in talking about the issue. This idea grew from the experience of the project director who had participated in the UC Davis PPI the previous year. The awarding of a “Community Challenge” grant by the California State Department of Education provided the funds for fifteen ethnically diverse young people ages 16 to 22 and two adults to attend the PPI. The local school district sent this group with a purpose: to learn the practice of public deliberation and the methodology to frame the local issue of teen pregnancy for future community forums.

The young people selected to attend the PPI were not the academic leaders or members of the school debate team, government or leadership classes. This delegation represented youth who lived in the zip code “hot spot” area or were teen parents themselves. They demonstrated an eagerness to work and learn together so that they could, through participation in the PAPA program, make a difference for themselves and their peers. Included in this group were two college-bound teens and one young adult who were accompanying the team with the role of supporting the framing and coaching the forum process once the team returned home.

The National Issues Forums (NIF) network includes civic, educational, and other organizations, and individuals, whose common interest is to promote public deliberation in America. NIF issue guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. Look through all the NIF issue guides and their corresponding moderator guides, DVDs, and other resources at www.nifi.org/issue_books.

Resource Link: www.nifi.org/reports/detail.aspx?catID=19&itemID=121

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