FAQ For Parents

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*Domus’ Social Justice Leadership Academy will be taking place June 10, 2017, from 9 to 4pm.

What do you mean by “social justice”? Broadly speaking, social justice issues reflect movements that push for greater voice and more representation for underrepresented or underpowered communities. Topics we will be focusing on are poverty, income equality, the achievement gap, food insecurity, the juvenile justice system, homelessness, and the role of government in society.

What types of things will my child do during the academy? Activities will include brief presentations by sector experts, whole- and small-group discussions, visits to local nonprofit organizations engaged in battling the effects of poverty and inequality, and community exploration of these issues existing in our own backyards. We have purposefully minimized “lecture”/classroom time, instead creating opportunities for active discussions and debates in a trusting environment.

What will my child learn? We’ll help students better understand the root causes and effects of poverty and income equality and how it impacts people, organizations, communities, and institutions. We’ll also explore what students can do, now and in the future, as philanthropists, volunteers, thought leaders, and policy makers; this includes making a small grant via the Giving Circle (see below) to one or more nonprofits students believe are effectively addressing the issues they care most about.

What is the Giving Circle? The Giving Circle will allow students to be an active part of solving the challenges they’ve spent time learning about. At the end of their experience, they’ll learn about philanthropy and begin to practice it by deciding as a group what nonprofit(s) they wish to support based on what they’ve seen, heard, researched, and discussed. To this end we are asking students to bring between $25 and $100 to pool. The grant amounts will remain anonymous and only the final amount will be presented to the students.

Will my child earn community service hours? Yes–s/he will earn 7 community service hours. We will provide you with a letter.

Who are the participants? We have invited male and female students entering 10th through 12th grade and college students from cities and towns in Connecticut and New York.

Who are the instructors and facilitators? Domus employs several skilled facilitators and trainers and nearly two dozen senior program experts. The planning team for this project includes two individuals who’ll be directly involved in leading groups and training exercises as well as supervising students on site at Domus and in the community: Domus Chief Values Officer Donn Reid and Domus Chief Community Officer Jon Hoch. Donn and Jon have been with Domus 22 and 15 years respectively and have both led a variety of youth programs during that time. Donn is an experienced facilitator and trainer: As part of his job ensuring the core values and culture of Domus are upheld to our high standards, he trains all our staff members using a wide variety of curricula. Jon has many years of program planning experience: He is the person we turn to when we are designing a new youth program. Also on the planning team are Domus Director of Volunteers Julia Wade, whose broad base of community organizing skills and connections helped us craft a dynamic agenda. Domus Executive Director Mike Duggan will also participate and facilitate.

My child needs to leave for part of the day for a doctor’s appointment/school thing/sports practice; is that allowed? Unfortunately, no. We need every attendee to participate fully, and that means no one is able to leave the group for even a portion of our time together. We hope your child can join us the next time.

My child will need to take medication during the academy’s time period. Is that a problem? If your child is not self-administering his/her medications, we should talk before you enroll your child to ensure we can safely take care of him/her. We do have medication-certified staff at Domus but need to arrange for them to be present when your child needs his/her medication.

Can you accommodate my child’s dietary restriction (vegan, gluten-free, etc.)? Please contact us before enrolling your child to discuss his/her needs and the severity of any allergies. You may also elect to provide a meal and snacks for your child.

What items should my child bring? We’ll provide everything students need for the day (except the grant for the Giving Circle) so they should just show up with an open heart and curious mind.

I’m not sure this is for my child; can I have a conversation with someone at Domus to find out more? Please email Julia Wade at jwade@domuskids.org, call her cell 203.249.4110, or text her, and she’ll return your call within 24 hours.

 

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