Youth in the Middle approaches the challenges faced by schools and youth amid a culture of high stakes accountability while trying to implement a community youth development approach to teaching and learning. Youth in the Middle involves teachers, community-based organizations, administrators, youth, and city and county institutional leaders to develop an effective system-wide approach to support positive youth development (social, emotional, physical, and cognitive) across in-school and out-of-school settings. At the heart of this initiative is the question: How can schools, youth-serving community organizations, and local institutions best work together to promote a shared youth development approach to learning, and provide every child with the opportunities and resources he or she needs to succeed? This guide for middle school leaders describes four work areas central to developing a whole-school youth development approach based on one school's process. The guide describes preliminary evidence of progress, and includes hyperlinks to tools that can be adapted to support similar efforts in other settings.
Geiser, K., and O’Guinn, C. (2010). Youth in the Middle: Envisioning and Implementing a Whole-School Youth Development Approach. Stanford, CA: John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities.