Maine DOE announces Positive Youth Development Institute

The Maine DOE’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers and the Maine After School Network invite educators, administrators, community members, juvenile justice workers, and after school and youth development program staff to attend the annual Positive Youth Development Institute (PYDI) at the University of New England in Biddeford on July 21-22.

The two-day event will encourage adults working with young people to expand their understanding of the methods, theory and research that supports effective youth engagement and overall youth development. Numerous interactive breakout sessions will be offered emphasizing practical strategies of Positive Youth Development (PYD) that have shown to result in meaningful change.

Ohio Superintendent of the Year Dr. Rusty Clifford will be the event’s lead presenter. In his keynote address, 21st Century Assets—The Hidden Drivers of Excellence, Dr. Clifford will discuss how his district employs a positive youth development framework for exploring, executing, and energizing a “collective effort” regarding educational issues such as education reform, learning standards and graduation requirements.

Richard Gold, creator of the Pongo Writing Project, will host this year’s youth plenary address, Resilience and Joy through Pongo Poetry. Since the project began, it has helped over 6,000 young people in detention centers, mental health facilities and homeless centers build confidence and learn valuable life skills through the art of poetry and self-expression.

Registration is $140 per person and can be completed online at

For more information about this event, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, or the Maine After School Network, please contact Maine DOE’s 21st CCLC Program Coordinator Travis Doughty at or 207-624-6709.

Leave a Reply