The first issue you will be faced with when starting your YCAP project is which topic to focus on. You may find that there are a number of issues within your school or community that you would like to help resolve, and you may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of such a big task. The first step towards achieving your goals is to start small.
Draw up a list of issues or topics that stand out most. Sit together with the rest of your group for a brainstorming session to identify the biggest problems within your school or community. For example, does your school have high bullying rates? Is there a littering problem within your community? Perhaps you’ve noticed that lateness has become a problem at your school, or students may be faced with much more serious problems, such as drug and alcohol use or teenage pregnancy.
Once you’ve made your list, discuss the potential topics and your ideas within your group. This should help to identify which topic your group would most like to focus on. You may want to do a survey amongst your classmates and peers to get their input, too. Involving your whole school and community will contribute greatly to the success of your project.
Getting started is always the hardest thing to do. If you’re feeling stuck, approach a teacher to help you identify the necessary steps to get your project off the ground.
Allocate specific ‘jobs’ to each student in your group. You may find that you will suddenly be dealing with a number of big tasks, including handling a budget, making posters and marketing your project within your school or community, taking notes at all your meetings, writing speeches, and so forth. Allocate a task to each team member, based on his or her strengths and interests. For example, if you’re very good with numbers but can’t draw very well, it makes sense that you be responsible for keeping track of expenses. If there is a specific person allocated to each ‘job’, it will be far easier to keep track of your progress.
Remember to keep notes and take photographs as you go. It’s always good to have a few photos to look at to see how far you’ve come, and these are very valuable when presenting your project to the judges at the provincial and national competitions.
Have you started your YCAP 2014 project yet? What are your top tips? Share them with us in the comments section!