Empowering young people to engage in civic dialogue, making them aware and speak up against the pressing issues that plague the society or world, is one of the greatest ways to spark social change.
However, it is said that, currently, only 23% of 8th graders in the United States are proficient in civics. Not unexpected, low-income and minority youth are said to have far fewer opportunities to engage in civic education and civic dialogue. Recognizing the needs to empower young people to have a civic dialogue to spark social change, here is a company that exactly tries to bring this to life.
Novelly is a civic dialogue skills program for youth that empowers a new generation of communicators with essential dialogue skills to spark social change. Founded in October 2018 and based in Los Angeles, it aims to equip all young people, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, with the confidence to engage in nuanced dialogue on the complicated issues of our time, and empower them to use their voice to shape our future.
How Novelly empowers young people to use their voice to spark social change?
The Novelly app provides free access to a range of stories on different social themes. It allows students to become part of the community to share their own stories and discuss their favourite stories and the social issues they touch on with authors, influencers and other readers. And, they are connected to opportunities to take action on the issue.
Novelly believes when we talk about the characters, plot and dialogue of stories about protagonists that young people can easily relate to and see themselves in, we are creating a space where young people can be the experts on the most complex and pressing social issues today. It said that only when we create such a space, one that meets young people where they are at, can we spark their genuine civic engagement.
How Novelly program works
The Novelly program uses 5 building blocks to cut through the hot topics or issues and equip a new generation of communicators with essential civic dialogue skills to spark social change.
- Downloading the App – Novelly app provides free access to a range of stories. Every season, the app offers a collection of stories – short stories, personal essays and novels from diverse authors centered on a social issue. After reading, students give their perspectives and see what others are saying.
- Leading Workshop – Novelly workshops build upon the themes of their stories for 1-hour discussion experiences that model what open dialogue can look like and break down social barriers to these critical discussions.
- Joining Training – Both students and educators who want to go a step further can sign up for Novelly training in civic dialogue skills.
- Starting Novelly Space – After receiving training, students and teachers can set up Novelly spaces – where dialogue is practiced and encouraged – in classrooms, libraries, or as pop-up discussion circles wherever teens want to meet.
- Taking Action – Novelly app provides tools to build upon discussion and take action, using the dialogue skills one have learned to create real social change.
Novelly mobile app is 100% free, and all supplemental resources are free as well. The app is accessible on all platforms – iOS, Android, Web, and Desktop. Novelly’s new version of the app also connects to Google classroom so the reading and workshops can be done virtually.
Those interested can join the Novelly’s community of educators across the country who are working to help bring its mission of empowering young people to use their voice to spark social change to life.
To access, you can download the app in the App Store or on Google Play under the name Novelly, or directly from here.