Giving Teens a Voice

San Ramon -Press Release

Unique event to involve young people in "electronic brainstorming"
For Immediate Release
Sunday, January 16, 2000
Contact: Terry Koehne
Public Information Coordinator
Phone: 925-552-2942 / Fax: 925-838-3147

Danville - In the on-going wake of the Columbine High School tragedy and continued focus on teen violence, community members in the San Ramon Valley are introducing a new concept to help them address the issue locally. Listed as one of the higher priority recommendations by the San Ramon Valley Advisory Committee on Youth Safety and Development, the Interactive Teen Think Tanks will provide an ongoing vehicle for a diverse cross-section of young people in the San Ramon Valley to give feedback on youth related issues, programs and policies. 25 young people per session will gather to focus on youth attitudes and behaviors surrounding the issue of teen violence.

Topic: Youth Safety and Teen Related Violence

Saturday, October 30, 1999
Session 1: 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon
Session 2: 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Charlotte Wood Middle School Library
600 El Capitan, Danville, California

The Teen Think Tank provides a safe environment where young people can express their opinions anonymously through the use of an electronic Meeting System (Group Systems). Using a facilitated approach the teens are led through various activities where they use laptop computers to anonymously identify their issues (particularly as they relate to safety and violence). As a group they proceed to prioritize the top issues teens face and then propose their solutions for each issue. The information is automatically fed into a network where it is sorted and presented in report form. Complete documentation of the issues and solutions is available at the end of each session, and will be used to further identify programs and opportunities necessary to promote youth safety and development

"These gatherings will provide our community with invaluable information that will help us to better help kids," said Contra Costa County Supervisor Donna Gerber. "If we do not have youth involved in the community decisions that affect them, we are merely spinning our wheels."

The Teen Think Tanks are being sponsored collaboratively by the City of San Ramon, the Town of Danville, County Supervisor Donna Gerber, The San Ramon Valley Unified School District, and the Del Valle Council of PTA's. The San Ramon Valley Unified School District has received a three year grant to implement the project and is contracting with Collaborative Management Services, Inc. (CMSI) of San Ramon to provide the technology support for the event.