REAL Forums and Projects
As part of adults working with youth, REAL also offers the following additional forums: guest speaker series, teacher in-service workshops, and in/out of school student projects.
For our guest speaker series, we have had a host of community members come into classroom settings and dialogue with students about topics of relevancy. Such speakers have included:
- Alex Correa, fitness trainer, on youth incarceration and the significance of a good education
- Shaun Gayle, ex-Chicago Bear, on intellectual toughness as one key to personal success
- Pam Osbey (pictured at left), poet and youth advocate, on the importance of publishing
- Reuben Gonzalez, social worker, on breaking cycles of domestic violence and gender identity
- Jeff Spitz, film maker, on film making as storytelling
- Richard Kaplan, business entrepreneur, on success in the corporate world
- and Jeff Kowalkowski, sound engineer, on methods of turning ideas into music
Workshops for pre-/in-service teachers is also another forum that the REAL program provides. Program founder, Horace R. Hall, has done lectures and workshops for a host of public and charter schools in the Chicago area.
Additionally, the program has done pre-service teacher talks at such higher education institutions as the University of Illinois at Chicago and Chicago State University. In fact, some sessions have been lead by the young student members themselves, conveying their thoughts and opinions to teachers as they journey into the field of education.
Finally, REAL student projects include the possibility of community forums ranging from a host of social and cultural concerns such as the over-incarceration of youth, gang awareness, community gentrification, saying "no" to drugs and alcohol, breaking cycles of domestic violence and analyzing the music and culture of hip hop. Also, REAL has worked with other youth organizations to produce student videographies, radio broadcasts, talent shows, publications, and audio compact discs. All projects are the ideas of students and are produced through their efforts.
Download example curriculum (Adobe .pdf format)
Below is a small sample of topics that can be covered at REAL meetings. Most of these issues have been raised by students in previous classroom discussions and out of school settings.
The Meaning of REAL
What does it mean as young students, progressing to adulthood, to be socially conscious, personally aware, organized, accountable, and positive in attitude and outlook? Being REAL-ible!
Relief from Peer Pressure/Mob Mentality
- Think for yourself
- Think beyond the moment
- Think and reflect upon what your ancestors have done for you
Gangs and Drugs
- Defying the odds
- Escaping the intense of grip of drug and gang violence
Breaking the Perception: Challenging Damaging Media Stereotypes of Youth
Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, & Self-Destructive Behavior
- Messages we send to ourselves and others
- How do we feel about ourselves?
- What do we see when we look into the mirror?
- How do we treat others (i.e., our parents, teachers, family members, and friends)?
- How and why do drugs and alcohol invade our lives?
- Mommies and Daddies too soon
- Safe Sex
- Prevention and Planning
Defeating cultural stereotypes and understanding diversity within our world cultures and communities
Empowerment v.s. Disempowerment: Being Agents of Social Change
- Building and strengthening our communities
- Understanding the function of access and power
- Recognizing oppression in power within language, social organizations, and institutions of knowledge
The Importance and Significance of Schooling and Life Achievement
- Why is education critical for life success?
- What does schooling really mean to you?
- What are your options outside of college/university attendance?
- Future planning for adult education and adult life
All content (c) 2005 REAL Youth Program, Inc.