Preserving the Past with Our Future!

Learning Approach: Best Practices

| Sheraton New Orleans, Maurepas | Posted: Sunday, 1:30-2:15 p.m.

The challenges of 21st-century downtown revitalization demand an increasing focus on connecting with, motivating, and educating our youth. Young people are a unique volunteer demographic with the potential to be your best asset! This fast-paced, inspiring session will offer strategies and ideas to involve local students (of all ages!) in Main Street. Learn how to get kids, especially students, excited about volunteering for Main Street projects by engaging them in a way that is meaningful, beneficial, substantive, and fun. Case studies include a grant program from business owners, beautification projects, tourism amenities, theatrical events, historic rehabilitation projects, and partnerships with area colleges.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn to develop strategies for enlisting support from schools and youth and building meaningful partnerships with complementary groups.
  2. Identify opportunities to involve youth. From politics to historical research, discover ways to connect youth to meaningful projects.
  3. Learn how to capture the "youth voice"- their ideas and insights- and incorporate them in your program in a substantive way.
  4. Discover how to create a "culture of inclusively" within your program, which allows students to develop an appreciation for others.

Learn more: and

For more information contact:

Katelin Olson, Albion Main Street Alliance
Katelin Olson joined the Albion Main Street Alliance in 2009, bringing a background of non-profit management and historic preservation to the young organization. As the director of one of only two accredited Main Street programs in NY, her priorities have been building partnerships and finding creative solutions to downtown revitalization projects in an poor, rural community. She has a M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning at Cornell University with a focus on downtown economic revitalization.

Susan Starkweather, Albion Central School District
Susan Starkweather is the Albion Central School District’s grants manager. She coordinates the NYS Learn and Serve America grant and the Finger Lakes Service-Learning Institute, which provides professional development opportunities and technical assistance to districts in the region. She is a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow. She presented at various national and state conferences, including the National Service-Learning Conference.