Inciter | Mandi Singleton
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Work smarter, not harder, with Python

by Mandi Here at CRC, we’ve been focused on working smarter, not harder, by utilizing different skills and adding new tools to our tool belt. One of those tools is Python, and it has been a lifesaver for streamlining our data processes, saving us time and increasing productivity.   What is Python? Python is a simple, yet powerful programming language that is relatively easy to learn. It can be used for a variety of things, including to create practical programs that automate tasks on your computer, as a support language for software developers, and in web and internet development. It’s often compared to other programming languages like C++, Java, and JavaScript. Python is compatible with many operating systems including specialized and/or older operating systems like Solaris and Linux.   Why use Python?  Python has...

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How to Prove Your Youth Program is Rockin’

by Mandi Singleton Are you passionate about making a difference in the lives of youth? Many of my clients are, and the time, effort, and money they put into creating killer programs is proof enough that they are invested in forming positive and meaningful experiences for the young people that they work with.  BUT, how do program directors really know they are creating quality experiences for youth? How exactly is this measured? By the size of smiles on youth’s faces? Perhaps by tracking enrollment, attendance, and engagement? Maybe a youth satisfaction survey? These are all good answers – but I’ll let you in on a well-known secret; there’s a tool designed specifically for this purpose: The Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA).   The PQA is a research-based tool developed by The...

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Tips & Tricks for Child Focus Groups, Part 2

by Mandi Singleton  (Note: this post is the second part of a two-part series.) As I mentioned in the my last blog post, one of my favorite things about my job at CRC is conducting focus groups. Focus groups with elementary school students can be the most challenging and the most fun for me as a focus group facilitator. Here in part two of my discussion of tips & tricks for doing focus groups with kids, I get into strategies that make for effective and enjoyable groups. 5. Make it fun with hands-on-activities! Studies show that incorporating hands-on activities in focus groups with school-aged children increases participation and stimulates discussion.In focus groups I've conducted, I led children in several hands-on activities as part of data collection. During one activity, children were given...

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Tips & Tricks for Child Focus Groups, Part 1

by Mandi SingletonOne of my favorite things about my job is conducting focus groups. I enjoy the opportunity it gives me to interact with people, capturing and learning from their thoughts and feelings about experiences they’ve had. While at CRC I’ve had the opportunity to facilitate a series of focus groups with elementary school students. Although many of my projects are education-related, I had never done a group with children so young before. The focus groups I’d done in the past involved middle grade students, parents, and school staff, so the thought of conducting focus groups with elementary school students made me a little nervous. I could just imagine rambunctious 6 to 10 year olds, hopped up on sugar and far too excited to break away from their schools’ typical routines and...

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