Talking points are a set of arguments that have a history of persuading potential partners and policy makers to your way of thinking. Make yourself familiar with these arguments so you'll be in a position to discuss the benefits and importance of ELOs in the community:
- As a society, it is all of our job to ensure that the future is in good hands. That means making sure all our youth have access to a full range of opportunities throughout their childhood. When youth have meaningful opportunities to be positively engaged in their schools and communities, they are more likely to develop into healthy and productive citizens and leaders.
- Where are our kids? Did you know that young people in the K-12 educational system spend only 18.5% of their waking hours in a classroom setting? On average, youth spend around 1,000 hours a year in school, but 5,000 hours in their communities and with their families. How they spend this time can facilitate positive development and growth experiences, or place them at risk for negative outcomes.
- Schools can’t do it all alone. We know that the time students spend out of school matters. Research tells us that youth who are engaged in constructive pursuits during their free time are more likely to develop initiative, better understand themselves in relation to others, experience optimism toward the future, and develop skills and competencies that promote a successful transition to adulthood.
- ELO programs help build a strong foundation. Quality ELO programs give youth the opportunity to explore new ways of learning, to acquire new skills, and to form positive relationships with adults in their community. Good ELO experiences literally help build a foundation that can transform a young person into a productive and engaged member of our community. When that happens, we all beneﬁt.
- We need to work together to make sure our youth are on the road to success. Since quality ELO programs play an important role in assuring our children have the opportunities they need to be successful citizens and future leaders, we need to take collective responsibility for supporting and replicating them across the state. ELOs are based on the idea that schools working in partnership with community organizations represent a powerful force for our youth.