The YES Curriculum, now in its second edition, includes detailed lesson plans for 34 sessions, templates for community change projects, and guidelines for adult volunteer training.
The curriculum is designed to be flexible and accommodate different populations. There are two versions of the YES Curriculum:
- African American population focus
- Multicultural population focus
Each version has cultural activities tailored to the population focus, in addition to the core content.
The curriculum is divided into 6 units:
Unit I. Youth as Leaders introduces participants to the YES program, builds group norms and team identification, provides examples of youth leadership, engages participants in leadership roles within the program, involves participants in setting goals for the year, and motivates them to work toward these goals.
Unit II. Learning About Our Community provides participants with skills and experiences to identify and assess conditions in their community that may either contribute to or prevent youth violence.
Unit III. Improving Our Community provides youth with opportunities for learning vicariously about other successful community change projects and guides them through a process to develop their own project ideas.
Unit IV. Building Intergenerational Partnerships prepares young people for working on community change in equal partnerships with adults.
Unit V. Planning for Change takes the participants through the process of transforming their ideas for community change projects into concrete proposals that include a description of the project, project goals, a budget, and timeline.
Unit VI. Action and Reflection encompasses the implementation of the community change projects. The unit provides structures for the youth and adult participants to evaluate and reflect on their work. The unit is supplemented by an appendix that provides implementers with examples of change projects.
YES Curriculum, 2nd Edition (2017)
- Updated Curriculum Sessions – Sessions have been updated so that the activities are relevant for today’s technology and youth. For example, the Photovoice activity in Unit 2 has been adapted for smartphone and digital camera use.
- YES Core Components – Core components are elements of an evidence-based intervention that must be maintained in order to achieve the desired outcomes. The Purpose box at the beginning of each curriculum session lists the core content components that the session addresses.
- Photos of Curriculum Sessions – Photos from past YES programs have been included throughout the curriculum to provide visual examples of youth engaging in activities and community projects.
- New Online Resources – Each curriculum session has new and/or updated websites that provide additional resources for program leaders to enhance the content of the activities.
- Condensed Curriculum – This curriculum guide was created to assist organizations with time constraints to implement YES while preserving its core components. There are 19 sessions in the condensed version of the curriculum which is included in the appendix.