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My Discovery Destination: Partnering with Parents on Civic Learning

Civic teaching and learning can, and should, happen everywhere--and what better context than the home? Thanks to U-SERVE and its support for networking among its grantees, the Utah Civic Learning Collaborative (UCLC) has found a new partner for our work on building civic dispositions. My Discovery Destination (DD) s a community collaboration focused on strengthening families and building resilience in kids. Through many fun (and free!) activities, families can spend quality time together so that important conversations and bonding can take place. We explored ideas for building civic learning into DD activities with Executive Director Sharilee Griffiths...

UCLC: What can you offer parents and families? What about K-12 teachers?

Griffiths: Our collaborative efforts make it possible to provide families with a one-stop place to learn about everything family-oriented while also providing an effective resource for family-oriented organizations like the UCLC to get their resources out to families. Mixed in with the FREE Family Fun are all kinds of resources, including those provided by the Utah Civic Learning Collaborative partners. We also have a fun app that allows us to create 'Discovery Hunts' for families to have fun together while also learning about important civic learning topics. We are happy to collaborate with Utah Civic Learning Collaborative partners and K-12 teachers.

Can you describe a family's experience with your program?

Recently a mother reached out to tell us that her son has suffered with anxiety and depression for over six years and was getting increasingly worse. They had tried everything, but their son was in a downward spiral. Then they found My Discovery Destination! and began participating in our Discovery Hunts and the Discovery Family Adventures. A few month later, in his weekly appointment with a therapist he was positive and excited to share how he was leading his family in the adventures and helping them win prizes, etc. We have been surprised and thrilled at how many parents are reporting a marked reduction of anxiety and depression in youth who are actively engaged in our Adventures.

Knowing that the UCLC really wants to engage parents and families, what is your vision for the UCLC? What do you hope it brings or adds to your efforts?

We believe that the common mission of UCLC and My Discovery Destination! to engage parents and families provides a wonderful opportunity for us to work together to reach families statewide and provide them with easy to use, valuable experiences that will bring them together as well as arm them with valuable information and resources, and unite them through shared experiences of service and civic engagement. We would love to collaborate on a series of 'Discovery Hunts' with a civic learning focus (in progress).

We believe that civic engagement is not only a powerful "excuse" to bring families together, but a vital experience that all youth need in order to reach their full potential as adults. We are very grateful to be a part of this important work and look forward to getting to know the other members of the collaboration and learn more about their organizations and the work they are doing.

Learn more about My Discovery Destination:

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