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FireStarter Youth Empowerment Curriculum

Freechild Publications> Washington Youth Voice Curriculum


Author: Adam Fletcher

Date: November 2001

Publisher: CommonAction

Location: Olympia, Washington


Resources are hard to find, especially when you are working to create social change with young people on a limited budget. FireStarter was created to provide young people, youth workers and teachers with accessible, powerful tools to engage young people. The following collection of materials forms a loose curriculum that can be used to promote youth engagement, increase youth knowledge and ability, and develop group teamwork.


Guide for Youth

The Participant Guidebook features a four-part process, including:

  • Inspiration - Explores why young people should care about changing the world around them. By highlighting the issues facing youth today and the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this section challenges young people to become invested in their own lives and their community's future.

  • Awareness Raising - Encourages young people to examine their surroundings to determine what needs to change. This section showcases the issues that young people are addressing through action, including homelessness, anti-youth sentiment, and more.

  • Skill-Building - Identifies how change happens by assessing where youth are now and where they can go, both individually and as members of their larger communities. This section emphasizes personal ownership by encouraging community investment in young people.

  • Action Planning - Directs young people through a series of tangible steps to design and implement their activities. Features a practical, hands-on tool for action planning and tools.

Online | PDF Download


Guide for Facilitators

The Facilitator's Guidebook is a simple collection of activities, including:

  • Notes on Facilitating Firestarter - This section includes information on teaching versus guiding; the six points of facilitating; debriefing; creating group norms; and talking about feelings.

  • Mental Challenges, Twists, and Tricks - Short activities designed to encourage participants to earn knowledge, not to just get it.

  • Firestarter Activities - Activities to conduct while using the Participant Guidebook, including initiative games and more.

  • Resources - A collection of publications and websites about initiative activities and more useful resources for Firestarter facilitators.



So, You Wanna Be a Playa? Freechild Guide to Cooperative Games for Social Change

A collection of cooperative, interactive, initiative teambuilding activities for young people and adults.


PDF Download

The Freechild Project offers training and technical assistance on the FireStarter Youth Empowerment Program. For more information contact us.



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