Posted by Michael Craig on Apr 29, 2018
 Short Term Exchange Program (STEP)
New in 2018-2019, District 7820 will begin offering youth aged 15-19 the opportunity to go on short term (summer) exchanges.  Under STEP, Rotary matches students in two countries for a family-to-family exchange. The families then plan a reciprocal exchange for the students in July-August, with the 2 students together in Canada one month and in the other country the other month. 
For Rotary clubs, short term exchanges are much lower cost/effort than traditional long term (school year) exchanges. Rotary helps ensure a safe and secure exchange environment via our youth protection processes, but STEP does not require Rotary clubs to recruit volunteer host families. Club costs will be just $200 per student. All other costs of exchange are the responsibility of the student/family.
The application/selection period for Summer 2019 exchanges will be October-November 2018. For more information on how your Rotary Club can begin to offer short term exchanges to students in your area, please email Michael Craig, District Chair of Youth Service
Investing in Rotary Youth Programs
Also new for 2018-2019, District 7280 will provide funds to support Club participation in and development of new and existing Rotary Youth Programs. 
  1. Short Term Exchange Program – Two awards of $500 each will be available to support Clubs that send at least one student on a 2018-2019 short term exchange. 
  2. Long Term Exchange Program – One award of $1000 will be available to support a Club that, having not sent students on exchange during 2016-2019, sends at least one student on a 2019-2020 long term exchange.
  3. Adventure in Citizenship – Up to $1250 will be available to fund a spot in the annual Rotary Adventure in Citizenship program, to be available to a student from any high school in District 7820.  (Students will only be eligible to apply for either their local or the district-wide program, not both.)
  4. Adventure in X – Up to $2250 will be available to fund a spot in another Rotary Adventure-type program, to be available to a student from any high school in District 7820.
  5. Adventure Program for Disadvantaged Youth – Up to $3000 available to support a Club(s) to establish an Adventure-type program targeted to students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged.
  6. Public Image Support for Interact & Rotaract – Up to $1000 will be available to support Interact and Rotaract clubs to increase their visibility and association to Rotary through the acquisition of public image materials e.g. banners, T-shirts, flyers, etc.
For more information, please contact Michael Craig, District Chair of Youth Service. Clubs are invited to submit proposals regarding these opportunities.
Youth Protection Training and Certification
District 7820’s Youth Protection materials have been updated to bring them in line with RI’s most recent policies and guidelines.
  1. Updated Training – Rotarians who directly support Youth Exchange (YEOs, Counselors) and Interact (Rotary-Interact Club Liaisons) require updated youth protection training.  The training is also recommended for Rotarians supporting youth in capacities other than the Youth Exchange and Interact roles, above.  Training sessions via webinar will be held in May and June; online training will be available beginning approx. July.
  2. Annual Certification by Clubs –  RI Youth Protection Certification guidelines now include a specific certification by clubs regarding compliance within youth protection requirements. There are three parts: acknowledgement of the standards set out in Youth Protection Policy, details regarding youth programs offered by the Club, and certification of compliance by the club.
Discussion of the training and certification requirements is underway with Rotarians supporting Youth Exchange and Interact. More information will be provided to incoming Presidents and Secretaries before the District Conference in May. For more information, please email Michael Craig, District Chair of Youth Service