IYLI works with middle schools and high schools to create and sustain a culture of leadership and community.
Service Learning and Leadership. Middle school students participate in projects to explore the elements that make up a community, beginning with their own community. They learn to conduct research in teams in preparation for visiting different areas of New York City, where they engage in project-based learning. They observe characteristics of the community which they capture using disposable cameras. They also sample food. Projects incorporate standards and skill development for writing, speaking and listening. IYLI uses low-stakes writing activities that result in creation of a photo essay final project. Students use technology to connect with peers in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
STEM. Middle and High School students engage in hands-on science, engineering and mathematics and explore related academic pathways with a focus on energy and environmental sustainability. High school students complete an online course that provides an introduction to renewable energy and online curriculum modules. They visit solar and wind powered installations and interact with engineers and planners. Their final project is a design for an installation that meets a community need. Middle school students learn about gardening and urban agriculture through hands-on work in community gardens. They conduct measurements and learn how to utilize data. Middle school parents are engaged in groups and one-on-one to provide information and resources to support their children’s science and mathematics learning, including guided visits with their children to New York Area science and technology centers and museums.
Advocacy and Action. IYLI strengthens youth-led advocacy by providing students with training and technical assistance on policy, advocacy and mobilization, including community board participation, model legislation and legislative strategies, reaching out effectively to the media, passing local legislation, building and participating in strong coalitions, conducting and releasing public opinion and other research, drafting and disseminating press releases and advisories, op-ed articles, letters to the editor, blogs, and articles for placement in local newspapers, and use of social media for advocacy. Students develop and present legislative and budget recommendations to Community Boards, and City Council.
IYLI can help schools to plan an international study program tailored to their goals, or students may participate in IYLI’S Summer Heritage Programs (SHP). These programs combine academic and cross-cultural experiences, language, applied research projects, service learning and career exploration to provide a dynamic, and enriching experience.