State municipal leagues across the country have created a variety of programs to help their member cities and towns engage young people in local government and improve outcomes for children, youth and families.
The majority of state leagues have at least one program to promote youth civic engagement. Many have developed robust initiatives on issues ranging from community wellness and afterschool programming to early childhood and family economic success. A few have developed strong internal capacity to focus on children, youth and families issues over time through standing committees, nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education affiliates, and a recurring focus on these issues at convention workshops and trainings.
NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute) created this online resource bank as a central source of information for state league staff and members on how leagues are helping municipal governments take action on behalf of young people and their families. Use the links on the right-hand side navigation to learn about the following league activities:
- State league programs to educate and engage youth in local government, including "If I Were Mayor..." essay contests and scholarship programs, school curricula, youth tracks at league conventions, statewide youth summits, City Government Weeks, and resources for mayor's youth advisory councils;
- Issue-focused state league initiatives on afterschool, early childhood development,education, family economic success, family strengthening, health and wellness, and public safety and violence prevention; and
- Internal league capacity and structures that promote a sustained focus on children, youth and families, including youth committees and task forces, 501(c)(3) foundations and research and education affiliates, and regular workshops and training with a focus on children and families at annual league conventions.
YEF Institute-State Municipal League Partnerships
The YEF Institute partners with state leagues in numerous ways to help municipal leaders keep children, youth and families high on their cities' and towns' agendas:
- Collaboration between members of NLC's Council on Youth, Education and Families and state leagues;
- A state municipal league staff listserv on children, youth and families that currently involves 45 staff from 25 leagues;
- Articles in state league journals about timely and relevant issues and promising practices;
- Workshops and trainings at league conventions;
- Co-sponsorship of webinars and in-person convenings on key issues of concern to members, as well as the biennial National Summit on Your City's Families;
- Assistance in identifying speakers for conference workshops and sessions;
- Dissemination of action kits, toolkits, and strategy guides to league members;
- Support for statewide mayoral summits on afterschool and expanded learning;
- Fostering partnerships with national and state-based policy organizations, agencies and initiatives, including statewide afterschool networks, state Bank On programs, anti-hunger groups, state health departments, and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Cities, Towns and Counties initiative;
- Youth participation in NLC conferences;
- National visibility for innovative league programs; and
- Joint fundraising efforts and technical assistance projects on early childhood success,gang prevention, childhood obesity, and youth civic engagement.
To learn more about how the YEF Institute and state municipal leagues are working together on these issues, or to join the state league staff listserv, please contact Michael Karpman at (202) 626-3072 or firstname.lastname@example.org