Monthly Archives: April 2014

Join GUIDE for Upcoming Training Opportunities

IMG_3540Want to learn how to involve families in your afterschool program? Need ideas for developing successful programming that engages both the youth you serve and your adult staff? Check out GUIDE’s training series taking place through October. Made possible by the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, GUIDE is offering these amazing training opportunities for only $10! Plus, participants will walk away with 5.75 NASW credits per workshop. Don’t miss out!

Family Engagement: Strategies for Success

Date: Wednesday, May 14
Time:  9 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Henry County Chamber of Commerce, McDonough
Funded By: Governor’s Office for Children and Families
Conducted By: GUIDE, Inc. Staff
Cost: $10 per person

Description: Thirty years of research confirms that when families and caregivers are engaged in their children’s and teenager’s education, youth earn higher grades and test scores, attend school more consistently, complete more homework, demonstrate more positive attitudes and behaviors, graduate from high school at higher rates, and are more likely to enroll in higher education than students with less involved families. Harvard Professor Robert Putnam has written that given a choice between a 10% increase in school budgets or a 10% increase in family engagement, he would invest in family engagement due to its positive impact on youth outcomes.

In this workshop, participants will gain the knowledge, tools, and resources to effectively design a comprehensive, well planned and long lasting partnership with families and caregivers. Participants will leave with a host of best practice tools, techniques, and resources that will assist in the development and implementation of a successful family engagement program. 

For more information and to register, click here.


Developing Dynamic Programs and Activities

Date: Thursday, June 26
Time: 9 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Alpharetta Business Center, Alpharetta
Funded By: Governor’s Office for Children and Families
Conducted By: GUIDE, Inc. Staff
Cost: $10 per person

Description: Youth development professionals are designers by nature. An essential act of the profession is the design of learning experiences to engage and motivate youth. Yet with so many responsibilities and so little time, planning can quickly become a burden. This workshop is designed to ease that burden and reinvigorate your spirit of innovation.

Whether you aim to design innovative and imaginative learning experiences from scratch, seek to enhance the implementation and impact of existing curricula, are searching for a myriad of individual activities to keep your program exciting, or want to employ longer term project-based learning experiences, THIS WORKSHOP IS FOR YOU!

Participants will gain knowledge, skills, and a host of resources for implementing high-yield learning experiences that meaningfully engage youth and staff ready to hit the ground running.

For more information and to register, click here.


Effectively Using Social Media

Date: Thursday, July 10
Time: 9 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Macon, exact location TBD
Funded By: Governor’s Office for Children and Families
Conducted By: GUIDE, Inc. Staff
Cost: $10 per person

Description: In this interactive course, participants will learn how to create multiple Social Media messages for a variety of channels from a single campaign or issue.   Participants will have the opportunity to see examples of a successful Social Media presence and practice crafting messages related to their own work.

Participants will leave with an understanding of strategies for leveraging facts, issues and impacts of their afterschool, youth development or abstinence messages through Social Media, be able to apply best practice principles to craft messages for various channel and learn how to use Social Media to network with others in the field.

This course is appropriate for those who have a general understanding of the Social Media channels, but want more information on content creation and strengthening their Social Media presence. We will discuss Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Blogging.  The course will not include setting up accounts or the basics on how to use these sites.

Registration coming soon!


Developing an In-House Approach to Staff Development

Date: Thursday, August 7
Time: 9 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Peachtree City, exact location TBD
Funded By: Governor’s Office for Children and Families
Conducted By: GUIDE, Inc. Staff
Cost: $10 per person

Description: The need for effective professional development for staff in the field of afterschool and youth development is well known. However, due to the limitations of cost and travel, it is often difficult to ensure that all staff have access to professional development opportunities such as workshops and conferences. 

When designed and implemented effectively, in-house professional development capitalizes on the expertise and wisdom of members of your program team and can be leveraged to create an extremely effective system.  The benefits are multifold. This powerful staff development approach can foster accountability, collegiality, professionalism, and pride. Staff will feel appreciated and respected for their contributions and knowledge, and become confident and more competent in their own practice.

This interactive workshop will provide participants with the knowledge, tools, and resources to design and implement a high quality in-house professional development system that is tailored to your program’s culture and needs. 

Registration coming soon!


The Road to Sustainability

Date: Wednesday, September 10
Time: 9 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Conyers, exact location TBD
Funded By: Governor’s Office for Children and Families
Conducted By: GUIDE, Inc. Staff
Cost: $10 per person

Description: Program sustainability is often thought to exclusively mean raising money. But money is only part of the equation. Raising money depends on having a quality program and demonstrating results. And showing effective results, in turn, is based on strong management practices. As such, getting to sustainability requires a carefully constructed plan, a vision, and a broad base of support.

This workshop addresses several key facets of sustainability that in combination, will lay the groundwork for ensuring your program continues on a long-term basis. Through an array of interactive and hands-on experiences, participants will gain knowledge, skills, and resources in three fundamental areas of sustainability: building collaboration, advocating for support, and finding funding. 

Registration coming soon!


Using Inquiry and Insight to Improve Program Quality

Date: Thursday, October 30
Time: 9 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Atlanta Marriott Century Center, Atlanta
Funded By: Governor’s Office for Children and Families
Conducted By: GUIDE, Inc. Staff
Cost: $10 per person

Description:Curiosity begins at an early age. Children are naturally inquisitive about everything they see. Yet throughout childhood and adolescence, curiosity diminishes significantly. Adherence to curiosity over time creates the path to further and further learning. It is those who continue to ask questions – those who answer one question and ask another – who eventually become the experts in given fields. How do we help our children and youth never to lose their curiosity? How do we help them accept what they are told but also to question what they are told? It is up to us as adults to encourage wonder in our children and youth.

Our morning workshop session, Cultivating Curiosity, will explore curiosity and the inquiry as valuable cognitive resources – for youth and for adults. Participants will gain an understanding of how to encourage the development of wonder and awe in youth and how these traits facilitate the development of lifelong learning.

The morning session will be followed by 2 breakout sessions – Infusing Positive Youth Development into Prescribed Curricula and Self-Assessment as a Vehicle for Continual Program Improvement.

In Infusing Positive Youth Development into Prescribed Curricula, participants will apply the insight gained in the opening session by learning to adapt prescribed curricula to incorporate youth development best practices. Embedding positive youth development strategies in curricula ensures that youth are excited about their learning, feel involved in the process, learn how to generate and extend ideas, apply imagination and seek alternative innovative outcomes. However, integrating innovative and imaginative approaches in the curricula does not mean abandoning the prescribed objectives.  In this breakout, participants will gain the tools to help them identify the essential understanding in curricula and design creative instructional activities that establish meaningful and impactful learning experiences while maintaining fidelity to the curricular model.  

In Self-Assessment as a Vehicle for Continual Program Improvement, participants will apply a lens of inquiry to their own practices as youth development professionals. In this workshop, participants will gain tools for taking steps towards continual quality program improvement by gathering information, examining what staff, youth participants, and other stakeholders are doing and saying, and assessing the quality of the program. Participants will learn how to employ tools that specifically focus on the critical items of quality and develop systems for integrating self-assessment in the infrastructure of their programs.

Registration coming soon!


Course Fees, Discounts, Payment & Registration Information

DSC07402Each course is priced separately.

All costs include light breakfast snacks and coffee, lunch and materials.

Online payment is available during registration via credit or debit card. If paying by check, it should be mailed, with invoice/confirmation available after registration, to GUIDE, Inc. Checks MUST be received by the date indicated on the registration page. This date varies per workshop.

All courses require pre-registration!


Can You Hear… Or See Me Now?

Inspired_Issue_5_GUIDE_WeDon’t take your hearing and eye sight for granted! You could be causing irreparable damage if you aren’t careful. Check out these ways to take care of your eyes and ears by clicking here or on the image. 


Georgia Teen Institute 2014: Raising $14K in 2014!

For the 26th year in a row, GUIDE, Inc. is in the process of planning for the Georgia Teen Institute summer leadership program. The Georgia Teen Institute (GTI) is an inspiring, motivational and meaningful leadership training program for middle and high school students with a focus on teaching youth-adult teams how to use the Strategic Prevention Framework. Teams of youth from all over the state of Georgia come and learn how to plan and implement projects in their home communities related to alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention, community engagement and other pertinent issues. GTI is a dynamic, fun and innovative way for middle and high school students and adult advisors to learn new skills, meet new people and become empowered to create change in their communities and schools.

GTI_14in14_SM_403x403_border_WEBGTI is run by GUIDE, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit and, in 2014, will be staffed by 45 high school and college age youth and more than 50 volunteers. The cost for one of the 45 staff – who have already completed a three day training, will attend another three day training and then staff eight days of GTI – is approximately $650. When we shared this cost with our high school and college staff in March, they decided to set a really ambitious fundraising goal to help cover their costs. This group, in addition to studying their facilitator’s guides, preparing warm fuzzies and doing an assortment of other things to prepare to serve as staff members, decided to set their 2014 staff fundraising goal at $14,135!

We need your help to make sure that this incredible goal can be met. Every single bit helps and we hope that little by little our 2014 staff will inch toward their goal. We can assure you that 100% of your donation goes to support the work that these youth and young adults will do this summer. The funds we raise through this campaign go to pay for meals during our staff trainings that can’t be covered by our grant funding, our onsite expenses for staying at Oxford College for two weeks and so much more.

SDW1 2014 078Donating is REALLY easy — simply CLICK RIGHT HERE to securely donate online. It will give you the option to do a one-time donation or have the amount automatically deducted monthly. Simply designate “GTI” when asked, and if you know a specific staff member for whom you want to donate, add their name, too. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law and are GREATLY appreciated. If you’d rather write a check, mail it to GUIDE, Inc., PO Box 1922, Lawrenceville, GA 30046, Attn. GTI. 

Your support of the work that GUIDE and the Georgia Teen Institutes are doing this summer really does make a difference. THANK YOU! 

Calling All Youth Leaders in Gwinnett! Apply to be on the GUIDE YAB!

GUIDE is excited to announce an opportunity for rising 9th – 12th graders in Gwinnett County to apply for the 2014 – 2015 Youth Advisory Board (YAB). GUIDE will select youth based on an application process.

IMG_3690The YAB is comprised of youth from across Gwinnett County. Ideal candidates are youth committed to making an impact in the community. Previous leadership experience is preferred, but all youth are welcome to apply. Applicants must have reliable transportation to and from all meetings and events and be able to communicate with GUIDE program staff via email and social media on a weekly basis.

Upon acceptance to YAB, members will be called upon to advise GUIDE staff on various aspects of youth leadership and prevention programming. Throughout the school year, YAB members will take part in monthly meetings and help plan, implement and evaluate events designed to reduce alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.

Two 2014-2015 YAB members will serve as Youth Board Members for the GUIDE Board of Directors. Additionally, YAB members will have leadership opportunities available to them such as staffing community wide events and Georgia Teen Institute.

IMG_3457YAB members will develop and practice key leadership skills such as public speaking, group management, networking, decision-making, planning, organization and time management. Former YAB members have gone on to serve in prestigious leadership positions in other organizations and on their college campuses, received full scholarships to colleges of their choice and lead their fellow youth in community organizing activities.

Download your application here.

Applications are due via email by 5 pm on Friday, May 2, 2014.

For more information, contact Sarah Stokes, Youth Advisory Board Coordinator, at 678.377.4136 or at

Sticker Shock Campaign Discourages Community from Providing Alcohol to Minors

IMG_0200According to Gwinnett County survey data, alcohol is the substance most used among middle and high school students. The data show that 22% of high school students report using alcohol in the past 30 days. Many students also report that they are able to gain access to alcohol from their family or other adults.1

The prevention of underage drinking and easy access to alcohol for underage youth is a high priority in our county. Gwinnett United in Drug Education, Inc. (GUIDE) understands the importance of alcohol prevention and has numerous efforts underway to address issues regarding underage drinking and easy access to alcohol.

In honor of April being Alcohol Awareness Month, GUIDE along with teams of youth and adult volunteers is conducting a Sticker Shock campaign to raise awareness in the Gwinnett community about underage drinking. The Sticker Shock campaign serves as a reminder to parents and other adults that it is against the law to provide alcohol to anyone under 21.

During April, the teams of volunteers will visit several retail stores in Gwinnett and place “warning” stickers on multi-packs of beer, wine coolers, and other alcohol products. These stickers communicate that it is against the law to provide alcohol to minors and what the penalties could be. The volunteers will also place “warning” glass clings on the stores’ front doors and coolers for a more permanent reminder of this message.

GUIDE’s Sticker Shock Coordinator, Molly Vance, believes that this campaign is important because it not only raises awareness about underage drinking, but also encourages the community to work together to keep Gwinnett healthy and safe. 

GUIDE appreciates the community support for this campaign and recognizes the following retail store participants: the Beverage Superstore and Way Crest Exxon in Grayson, the 29 Package Store and La Hispaña Food Mart in Lilburn, and the Norcross Food Mart and Ruby’s Food Mart in Lawrenceville.


1 Youth health survey. (2011). Lawrenceville, Georgia: Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services.