Vicki Noethling, DTM, began formalizing Youth Leadership Program (YLP) in 2012 and held the first program held in January 2013 with the Gwinnett County Junior Leadership Corp. In addition to the two YLP school groups we added a few Gavel clubs. Most YLP sessions begin in late August or early September and go for 8-12 weeks depending on the school. The schools incorporate our curriculum into the classroom curriculum which results in a grade for each student. The students use the objectives of the Competent Communicator manual as well as the evaluation forms for the particular speech. The Toastmaster volunteer serves as Toastmaster of the Day and evaluator.
Note that after using the formal Toastmasters International Youth Leadership Program Manual for the first group, it was apparent that the students needed to get into the speeches sooner and also benefited more from the evaluations tied to the speech objectives instead of the repetitive model used in the manual. Modifications were made and cleared to be used by Dan Rex of Toastmasters international. The modifications include:
The students serve as speaker, ah counter/grammarian, vote counter and timer. If time permits Table Topics is offered, but in most cases the class size does not permit the Table Topics portion of the session. The teachers usually do table topics as a filler to their classroom activities.
The first District Sponsored Youth Speech was held at the District fall conference in November 2013. After the reaction to this contest, the program was expanded to additional schools in 2014 and two programs converted to Gavel Clubs in 2015. Each year we continue to add both YLP sessions and Gavel clubs.
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If you are interested in starting a Youth Leadership Program in your child’s school (middle or high), please contact Vicki Noethling, DTM IPDD at email@example.com