S.D. Youth Foundation earns award of merit

Carol Birgen, program leader for the South Dakota Youth Foundation, accepted the South Dakota Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Science award of merit.

BROOKINGS – The South Dakota Youth Foundation has been awarded the South Dakota  Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Science  Award of Merit.
The South Dakota Association for Career and Technical Education Award of Merit is sponsored only at the state level and doesn’t advance to regional or national competition.
The purpose is to recognize organizations outside the field of career and technical education for meritorious contributions to the improvement, promotion, development and progress of career and technical education. Businesses and organizations considered for the award of merit must have demonstrated a concern for career and technical education through sponsored programs, publications, financial support and other activities. Nominees who have made contributions of national significance will be most highly-rated. Business firms, industries, online communities, boards of education, boards of trustees, lay citizen groups, state or national committees and any other types of organizations that have contributed significantly to career and technical education are eligible recipients of this award.
All nominations must come from SDACTE members. Each nominee must be endorsed or sponsored by a Division of SDACTE. High school teen teachers, who completed their teaching of Character Counts! lessons to area grade school students across South Dakota through the South Dakota Youth Foundation Inc. with lessons focused on teaching the elementary students the importance of “character.” Character Counts! has six pillars which include: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
Through this work the S.D. Youth Foundation was nominated for the SDATFACS Award of Merit.
The South Dakota Youth Foundation is the only organization in which all programs are delivered to younger students through a Teen Teacher network. High school students are selected to become teen teachers and are put though a rigorous orientation in which they learn about classroom management, age-appropriate lessons and lesson planning. They then go to the elementary school classrooms and deliver the lessons.
“Research has documented those younger students are much more receptive to receiving important lessons if they are taught by older youth. They listen more closely and, therefore, the education is much more effective. Teens speak the right language, and, as role models, teens provide younger students something to aspire to and help maintain their involvement,” said program leader of the S.D. Youth Foundation Inc. Carol Birgen in a news release.