Back to School - Updates!

by Rachael Pishtek

The school year has officially kicked off and we at Northern Lights Youth Services are so excited to be with you throughout. We have spent our too short summer creating new programs, tools and partnerships to further the organization and create more opportunities for youth! Here are several updates that we have been and will continue working on for the start of the academic calendar.

  1. Program Calendar - Northern Lights has created a program calendar for the year. On this calendar we include awareness months and dates, suggested time frames for Northern Lights programming and holidays. Please use this calendar to plan your events this year and get ideas for activities! The PDF can be downloaded here!

  1. Program Registration - To monitor our areas of impact and collect data that can be shared with our funders, Northern Lights has decided to start requiring program registration forms. The phrase may sound daunting, but these forms will only take you a few minutes, can be fulfilled by students and are made possible through Google Forms - a very slick and easy online tool. Northern Lights is planning on creating/holding an online webinar of sorts going through all of our programming and then advisors and individuals can decide what programs they want to register and take part.

  1. Changes to the Website - Because of program registration, we have also made some changes to our website. The way that we will be distributing our programming has changed - to keep our materials secure, the program guides will not be made available until chapters or individuals have registered for the program. The process will go as follows:

    1. Individuals will be instructed to go to the ‘Programs’ page of the website

    2. They will then register for the programs through their specific link. If you would like more information about certain programs before you register, please call our office at 701-636-5852 and Lee or Rachael will be happy to talk to you.

    3. Once registered, you will be E-mailed a password to the new secured page and receive access to the program toolkits.

    4. Once you have received the password, enter it on the Toolkits page of the website and you will be able to download program guides and gain access to the various materials.

  1. Drive the Focus - This is a program that we have spent a lot of time on in our office and it has such great potential for students and communities. This program was created with the partnership of State Farm, in order to create Teen Traffic Safety Experts. Individual students or entire chapters can participate in this program. First, the students will go through an online training that will educate them on various traffic safety information and the event planning process. Following the training, students will then begin to plan an event for their community on the topic of traffic safety. Topics included are distracted driving, how to behave after a crash or during a traffic stop, weather related driving tips and more! Students will have complete creative freedom on the type of event they hold in their communities. They can take the traditional approach if they choose, by using our PowerPoint template and delivering information, but they are also encouraged to think outside the box - write a one act play, have an art show, create and screen a video; the possibilities are endless.

  1. Healthy Reality -  We encouraging all of our chapters to do our Healthy Reality program throughout this school year. You can register for the program here! Healthy Reality is a three lesson peer to peer education program that focuses on self image, consent and dating violence. Upperclassmen, partnered with a guidance counselor or another professional in a similar field, teach these lessons to junior high students. The lessons are discussion based and interactive. They serve almost as a continuation of Reality Check. For more information on this program, please contact our office.

  1. CAWS Event/Partnership - As you may already know, in the last year, Northern Lights and CAWS North Dakota have worked very closely in order to spread awareness among youth on dating violence, consent and self care. The two organizations attempted to hold a summer event, but decided to postpone the event indefinitely. After recent conversations, Northern Lights and CAWS North Dakota have decided to bring our intended keynote speaker, Mike Domitrz of the Date Safe Project and author of Can I Kiss You, to the annual Northern Lights conference in Grand Forks AND invite CAWS North Dakota to hold workshops for youth on this subject matter. We are so excited to move forward in this direction!

If you have any questions about the above information, please do not hesitate to give us a call or E-mail Rachael at We are very excited about our new program registration process and programs, this is going to be a great year!

About the Author

Rachael Pishtek

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