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YLI in USA Today

For the past two years the Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) has focused its efforts on creating resources and programs meant to increase political civility. In January 2017 Meg Heubeck, YLI Director of Instruction, was interviewed by USA Today/Gannett Papers about those efforts. The resulting article was the first of a series entitled, “I am an American,” that chronicles the experiences of Americans who are making a difference in the United States.

William Ramsey and Gabe Cavallero, news director and reporter for Staunton Virginia's News Leader which is a Gannett owned newspaper, contacted YLI in December following the rancorous presidential election. They were looking for a program that was working to improve civility in the U.S. political system. What resulted was a story that highlights YLI's Talking Turkey: Taking the 'Dis Out of Civil Discourse' series of lesson plans. Visit the following to read or watch this story:

YLI is currently developing activities to include students, parents, teachers and communities to increase the comfort level in talking about politics. The emphasis of political discourse is not new to YLI, but the intensity of interest has increased due to the extreme nature of the election cycle.

The release of the article and video garnered much attention for the Youth Leadership Initiative. YLI is looking to capitalize on the publicity by presenting local civility workshops and increasing its lesson resources in time for fall. For more information about Talking Turkey and the Youth Leadership Initiative, www.youthleadership.net.