Chautauqua Youth and Family Programs Advisory Group
Why We Were Formed:
The Chautauqua Youth and Family Programs Advisory Group was created in March of 2020 to serve as a direct resource and sounding board for staff as they consider and develop plans for the future of Chautauqua Institution’s Youth and Family Programs. Chautauqua youth program leaders working in close partnership with the Advisory Group are Alyssa Porter, Director of Youth and Family Programs, and Matt Ewalt, Vice President and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education.
Who We Are:
Membership represents a cross-section of personal and family experiences related to Chautauqua’s youth programs, including one-week, multiple-week, and full-season attendees, as well as individuals with relevant professional expertise and experiences.
The following individuals serve on the on the Advisory Group:
- Deirdre Anderson
- Laren Knoll Burkhart
- Erin Cornelius
- Stephanie Dawson
- Bijou Clinger Miller
- Jennifer Goldberg Rapoport
- Kelsey Twist Schroeder
- Ben Sorensen
- Sally Struk
In consultation with youth program leadership, the following Youth and Family Programs seasonal staff representatives have been appointed to participate in all advisory group meetings:
- Pie Kasbar of Children’s School
- Alan Rubin of Boys’ and Girls’ Club
The Youth and Family Programs Advisory Group was initially appointed through September 2020, but its work has extended beyond the initial term, and the group of volunteers continues to meet regularly. We seek to serve every member of the Chautauqua community to enhance their experience with Youth Programming. While we strive to honor the rich and longstanding history and traditions of Chautauqua’s youth and family programs, our primary focus is on how to best serve the children and families participating in the programs now and in the future. We also acknowledge that people have varied experiences of Chautauqua and that all experiences are valid.
To date, we have:
- Held monthly Youth and Family Programs Advisory Group meetings since March 2020
- Held 16 Listening Sessions, both virtual and in-person, with a wide range of Chautauquans, including some sessions targeted to specific groups:
- General Public
- Children’s School/Boys and Girls Club Staff
- New Chautauquans
- Children’s School/Boys and Girls Club/YAC Leadership Staff
- Weekly Chautauquans
- Teen/Young Adult Chautauquans
- Middle School/High School (5th grade+) Chautauquans
- Elementary (PK-4th grade) Chautauquans
- Chautauquans with Special Needs
- 286 total participants in the Listening Sessions representing 234 different Chautauquans between August 2020 to October 2021.
Established a direct line of communication through the Chautauqua Youth and Family Programs Advisory Group email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note on Gratitude and Appreciation:
The Youth and Family Programs Advisory Group is deeply grateful to all Chautauquans who wrote to us, spoke to us individually, or participated in one of our community listening sessions. We would also like to express our gratitude for the time, engagement, and thoughtful feedback provided by the seasonal leadership staff at Boys and Girls Club, Children’s School, and the Youth Activities Center. Specifically, we would like to acknowledge the contributions of Greg Prechtl, Kit Trapasso, Al Dibs, John Chubb, Anna Coats, Alan Rubin, Chuck Bauer, and Pie Kasbar.
We would also like to thank Alyssa Porter, Director of Youth and Family Programs, and Matt Ewalt, Vice President and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education, for their support and partnership over the past two years. And lastly, we would like to thank Chautauqua’s President, Michael Hill, for convening the group and supporting our work. We feel privileged to support the Institution’s mission by pursuing “self-improvement through lifelong learning” and seeking “provocative, thoughtful involvement of individuals and families.”
What Happens Next:
The Youth and Family Programs Advisory Group would like to take the opportunity to present our recommendations to, and answer any questions from, President Michael Hill, senior administrative leadership, and the Board of Trustees.
We Continue to Welcome Your Thoughts:
If you would like to get in touch with the Youth and Family Programs Advisory Group, you can reach us via email at email@example.com.
Respectfully Submitted by:
Laren Knoll Burkhart
Bijou Clinger Miller
Jennifer Goldberg Rapoport
Kelsey Twist Schroeder
Ben Sorenson Sally Struk