Monday, February 4, 2019

Imagine! Partners with Growing Up Boulder

GUB (Growing Up Boulder) is an initiative that began in spring of 2009. Their mission is to empower Boulder's young people with opportunities for inclusion, influence, and deliberation on local issues that affect their lives. Their current project is giving local youth the opportunity to create their version of a child friendly city map of Boulder.

Imagine!'s Out & About After School Program, which serves children and teens with developmental disabilities, was contacted by GUB to help with creating the Boulder child-friendly city map. GUB hosted Out & About at the Boulder Public Library one afternoon and held a workshop to brainstorm ideas.

“They shared their favorite places around Boulder, including the Humane Society, special restaurants, and hiking trails,” said GUB Program Director Mara Mintzer. “Our engagement with Out & About was enriching to us as educators, and the youth had fabulous ideas!"

GUB aims to reach a wide range of 0-10 year olds in Boulder for the child-friendly city mapping project; they are collaborating with preschools, elementary schools, homes, and after school programs. The main values that guide this project are inclusion, diversity, community engagement, collaboration, and celebration!

"Our goal is to make sure all young people's voices are shared in our work,” said Mara. “Because young people with disabilities are less likely to have their voices heard than majority groups, we seek them out to participate in our programs."

“I’m excited for our participants to see the map and what they contributed,” said Out & About Therapeutic Specialist Maggie Clinton. “It’s awesome they had a voice in a project that will have an impact on the greater community.”

Since Out & About is a community-based program, they plan to incorporate the new maps into their
activities and planning. Instructors and participants can use them as resources to decide where to go next when there is down time, and instructors will also use the map as a tool to teach participants how to access their community.

The city map project is still in the works and will be available later this year. Click here to learn more about GUB. In November 2017, Mara presented a TEDx Talk in Denver, “We let kids design a city -- here’s what happened.” Click here to watch.

Thank you GUB for this awesome partnership and we look forward to working with you again!

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