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Youth Development Through Incarceration! What’s the Story with That?©

Posted on January 14, 2015 by David Blumenkrantz

By: David G. Blumenkrantz

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 I just can’t help but think that this video - Mass Incarceration in America is the best data that documents the real outcome of our youth development and education programs.

How did America become the most incarcerating nation on earth with 4% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s incarcerated people? One thing is for certain. Everyone incarcerated today was once a child who didn’t think they’d ever wind up in prison when they were born. (more…)

Posted in ROPE

What’s the Story With Play?©

Posted on August 1, 2014 by David Blumenkrantz

“You can learn more about someone through
an hour of play than a year of conversation.”
~ Plato

“Summertime. And the living is easy.” While most of Europe and other countries are on holiday labor in the U.S. continues in pursuit of gross national product. Our gross national play and re-creation lag far behind other nations. What’s the story with that? (more…)

Posted in ROPE

Education as Initiation: In Search of Self©

Posted on July 1, 2014 by David Blumenkrantz

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VisionQuest – Johannus Boots

In the recently published book In Search of Self: Exploring Student Identity Development, editor Chad Hanson writes: “Students become new and different people through the course of their education. When students earn the right to say, ‘I am a college graduate,’ that new status becomes a part of who they are.”

Graduation, whether from high school, college or even the transition from primary to secondary school has been regarded as a rite of passage. And, just like rites of passage these public graduation ceremonies affirm an individual’s transition and entrust them with a different set of responsibilities and status within their culture and social setting.  However, the process of education does not focus on human development, nor does it feature a process of initiation that adequately guides an individual’s transformation and transcendence towards maturity. (more…)

Posted in ROPE

Raising Test Scores or Raising Children?

Posted on June 2, 2014 by David Blumenkrantz

Time for a Unifying Story©
By David G. Blumenkrantz

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Stories are part of the human experience. “What’s the story?” is the first of 20 elements that serve as guiding principles in an architectural structure for youth and community development through rites of passage. “What’s the story?” is an invitation to a conversation for exploring a situation. Community-oriented rites of passage recognize the historical significance of initiation and rites of passage as a central organizing process of our human species. When designed and organized within a community it strengthens the bonds of belonging and sense of community among citizens that fosters resiliency and adaption essential for our survival.  Rites of passage have been our unifying story in villages across cultures and around the world for millennium. (more…)

Posted in ROPE

Change the Story, Transform the Future©

Posted on May 1, 2014 by David Blumenkrantz

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Humans are curious creatures. We organize our perceptions of the world through stories to explain mysteries and help us feel safe and secure. Story making comes from our natural inclination to have an internal dialogue with ourselves that narrate our experiences in the world. We creatively imagine our selves in relationships in ways that provide meaning and make distinctions between the sacred and the profane. Just because we create a story to help us understand and explain a mystery doesn’t mean we get it right. (more…)

Posted in ROPE

Language & Legacy©

Posted on April 8, 2014 by David Blumenkrantz

Tír gan teanga, Tír gan anam. Padraig Pearse
A country without a language is a country without a soul.
Gaelic Saying

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Stories are formed from words, which are the building blocks of language. Each letter, each word is nuanced by the context and culture that breathes life into its language. Stories make present what was in the past in ways that can help us survive into the future. When the Jews began to settle in Palestine at the end of the 1800’s one of the first things they did was establish schools to teach Hebrew. Reading the original text of our ancestors was central to a deeper sense of connection with the land they were re-entering and come to know their place in it. Today all children enrolled in Jewish education learn Hebrew. It is one of the central reasons this culture has survived against tremendous odds for over 5,000 years. (more…)

Posted in ROPE

The Busyness of Raising Children: Are we nourishing the lives of our children?©

Posted on March 3, 2014 by David Blumenkrantz

narings-liv-useLanguage is consciousness.

The Swedish word for business is närings – liv. It means nourishment for life or nurturing life. In English the word business means “to be busy” - “a state of being much occupied or engaged”, or “what one is about at the moment,” (comes from bisignes in Old English 1).

What are we about in every moment we are in the “business” of education and child development? Yes, business. What has happened over the past 100 years is a burgeoning of business (busy-ness) in education and youth development which some have termed the “child industrial complex”… a far cry from the idea of business as “nourishing life.”

(more…)

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Read more about Youth & Community Development through Rites of Passage in the new and highly acclaimed book by Dr. David Blumenkranz.


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David Blumenkrantz, Ph.D., Ed.M., Founder & Executive Director, the Center for Youth & Community

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It’t time for a Paradigm Shift – a fundamental change in beliefs, theory and approach – in developing community-centered responses to the challenges faced by today’s Youth & Community. More here>>