TeenSpeak gives us a window into the future and lets our young people know that being young doesn’t mean being ignored. Far too often, young ideas stay bottled up and unfulfilled. TeenSpeak is an opportunity for our teens – our future community leaders – to express their insights, opinions, dreams, inspirations… anything teens want to talk about, we’re committed to listening.
The City of Swift Current is excited to launch this community initiative in partnership with The Centre, the Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter, the Cypress Health Region, and the Swift Current United Way.
On Thursday, July 7th, 2016, TeenSpeak will make its first appearance at the first annual Swift Current YouthFest, happening at 6:30 PM at Riverdene Park.
It’s a digital world
In today’s world, and especially for our youth, communication and conversation is driven digitally. Social media and text messaging are now a more likely means of communication for young people than direct conversation. Our community wants to hear what young people have to say, and we have adapted our means of communication in order to engage youth in this new, digital world. That is why our team has developed a TeenSpeak Video Booth – a perfect venue to capture commentary from young people during events that they attend, and a perfect way to share their commentary with the community.
The TeenSpeak plan is to capture short video clips of teens discussing the things that matter to them, and to create video “mash-ups” that we, and the participants, can share online and via social media. Ultimately, we want to develop an ongoing video dialogue between our youth and our community.
The TeenSpeak Team has the utmost respect for privacy, and understands the heightened need to protect the privacy of young people. We wouldn’t dream of sharing a video of a child without the explicit approval of their parent or guardian. Because teens won’t always have their parents in tow at events where the TeenSpeak Booth is set up, we're getting a little creative to ensure we get parental consent for their child’s participation.
Teens who choose to participate will be asked to provide their name, the name of their parent / guardian, and a telephone number that we can contact their parent / guardian, and will not be permitted to participate without providing this information.
The following are our strict guidelines:
- Any footage we wish to share / post online will cause us to contact the participating teen’s parent / guardian for consent.
- We will not share / post any footage without parental consent.
- Any footage that we do not choose to share will be safely disposed of.
- Any footage that does not receive parental consent will be safely disposed of.
- Parents / guardians will have the opportunity to view the footage they are being asked to consent to, prior to giving consent.
Rules of decorum
Our goal is to showcase our community’s teens in a positive light... the TeenSpeak Team is not interested in unflattering, rude or offensive language or behaviour. We will strongly discourage such commentary with the following rules:
- No crude / vulgar language
- No derogatory statements about other people, their culture, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, appearance, etc.
We will encourage all participants to have fun, but to keep it clean! Those who choose not to follow the rules will be asked to leave the TeenSpeak Booth.
Our doors are always open
We want to assure you that the TeenSpeak Booth has your child’s safety at heart. The Booth is a 10’ x 10’ tent, with walls on three sides, and one side always completely open. Participants will never be alone in a closed booth with an adult, and they are always welcome to bring their friends in with them for moral support.
The Booth will be located in high-traffic areas at all times it is in operation, ensuring that people outside can always see what’s going on inside. We want to encourage people to participate, and the best way to do that is to give them the opportunity to check it out as spectators first, and to feel comfortable knowing the booth is a Safe Place. And what’s more, Safe Places – Youth Certified staff will always be on hand when the booth is in operation.
Don’t be a stranger
We believe this is a great opportunity for teens to share their ideas and insights with us, as a community, and our sincere hope is that the teens who participate in TeenSpeak get as much value out of it as possible.
We want you to feel 100% comfortable with TeenSpeak, and we invite you to check it out for yourself any time. What’s more, if you have any questions or concerns, you can feel free to contact:
Communications & Stakeholder Relations Coordinator
City of Swift Current
Safe Places – Youth Certified I.D. 300