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Center for Youth & Community Publications

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In partnership to

Change the Story, Transform the Future


All children are our children.

Become part of a global village to support raising our children and

help write a story that can change the future for our children and the planet.


The first two free publications from the Center for Youth & Community will help you get started.

Rites of passage during adolescence 
The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues, Fall 2007, Vol. 12, No. 2., Scheer, Scott D., Gavazzi, Stephen M., The Ohio State University.  Blumenkrantz, David G., Center for the Advancement of Youth, Family, and Community Services, Inc.

Review the literature on rites of passage in adolescence, with particular attention given to the essential components for positive developmental outcomes. Three human development orientations – life course, life span, and life cycle – are presented to examine rites of passage as they relate to life transitions. Within these orientations, positive rites of passage are framed as requiring both events and cognitive processes of the event. In other words, rites of passage events must be significant for adolescents not only as experiences, but having special meaning, emotion, and understanding. A model is introduced that highlights the potentially positive and negative roles that rites of passage can play in the transition to adulthood. In addition, investigations are discussed to help understand the complex rites of passage mechanisms. Finally, the benefits of employing rites of passage strategies are illustrated through youth development programs.

John Deere and the Bereavement Counselor
By John L. McKnight, The Careless Society: Community and Its Counterfeits. Basic books publishers. New York. 1995.

This well-known parable is a marvelous beginning to McKnight’s important contribution to community organizing and how we are becoming a care less society. The story illustrates the inadequacy of programs and professional services developed and delivered from people outside of a community in solving the problems of living in a complex world.


The following publications, articles, chapters in books and others are designed to deepen your understanding of youth & community development through rites of passage. Purchasing them individually or becoming a member and receiving these resources and more as part of the benefits of membership will help to support all of our efforts to change the story & transform the future. Thank you.

Rites of Passage in a World That Is Not Flat
David G. Blumenkrantz, The Systems Thinker®, Pegasus Communications, Vol.20 No.8 October 2009

We have known for hundreds of years that the world is not flat, and yet linear thinking is still pervasive in Western culture. An example of this linear orientation is the creation of programs for “fixing” societal issues. Our national policy on child development is directed to “closing the achievement gap” and “raising test scores.” But what if we decided to focus again on “raising children” and not on “raising test scores”? What might be possible if the linear thinking that drives much of our education, youth and human development efforts could be shifted toward systems thinking?

Coming of Age and Awakening to Spiritual Consciousness through Rites of Passage
David G. Blumenkrantz, PhD & Kathryn L. Hong (2008). New Directions for Youth Development, Chapter 9 No. 118, Summer 2008. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Rites of passage have been a human pathway to such spiritual consciousness for more than ten thousand years. Dr. Blumenkrantz, along with Ms. Hong, describe the history and importance of rites of passage as a critical element of youth development and offer a glimpse into practice.

Spiritual Development – Rites of Passage: Pathways to Spirituality for Adolescents
David G. Blumenkrantz, April 2007, Rites of passage: Pathways to spirituality for adolescents. Search Institute: The Center for Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence

Puberty is a time increasing physical and spiritual energies. Children are entering a new stage of cognitive development. They begin to wonder about the mysteries in the Universe and their place in it. Rites of passage respond to a child’s inner yearning to explore the great mysteries. This article explores Einstein’s relationship to God, the history of rites of passage and contemporary forms that focus on establishing a pathway for awakening youth to their spiritual self.

Lessons From Food Franchises
David G. Blumenkrantz, Ph.D.

Lessons from Food Franchises offers another approach to impacting systems frequently entrenched and maintaining motion from their own inertia. Taking from the laws of physics and observations in real world situations, Dr. Blumenkrantz compels the readers to reconsider the traditional method of education and training for small and large order systems change. Rites of passage is used as a vehicle to help people change their thinking and hence their paradigms that restrict school reform.

What Happens to a Community Intervention When the Community Doesn’t Show-Up? Restoring Rites of Passage as a Consideration For Contemporary Community Intervention
Blumenkrantz, D. & Wasserman, D., Family Science Review, 11 (3), August 1998.

Community programming that addresses the dangers facing today’s youth and families abound. However, little of it appears to be based on a psychological sense of community. As sense of community declines, so do rites of passage. This article examines a sense of community and its relationship to rites of passage. It also articulates learning opportunities for all members of a community that promotes positive youth development and community collaboration on behalf of youth and community development through rites of passage.

Developing Capable Communities
Blumenkrantz, D., Reach Out, Summer 1990.

If rituals of initiation lasted for thousands of years in pre-modern cultures, how has its current absence impacted society? What would our world be like today in the absence of wedding and funeral rituals? What benchmarks and guides would help us navigate the complex waters of life in the modern world? This article points out the relationship between developing a sense of community and building their capacity for more comprehensive youth development strategies through rites of passage.

Let’s Play Initiating Youth Into the Healthy World of Play
Blumenkrantz, D. in Developing Competent Youth and Strong Communities Through After School Programming, Gullotta, T. (Ed.), CWLA Press, 2000.

Gives an overview of the history of play and practical considerations for youth and community development through rites of passage. Examines after-school activities and offers practical steps to guide communities to better utilize them within a rites of passage context.

Guiding Transitional Events for Children and Adolescents through a Modern Day Rite of Passage
Blumenkrantz, D. & Gavazzi, S., Journal of Primary Prevention, 13(3), 1992.

Highlights contemporary society’s need to maintain rituals of initiation. It focuses on the process of rites of passage and how it serves as a vehicle to guide community mobilization efforts. The three stages of the comprehensive primary prevention community intervention 2 the Rite of Passage Experience© (ROPE®) are described.

Facilitating Clinical Work with Adolescents and Their Families through the Rite of Passage Experience
Gavazzi, S. & Blumenkrantz, D., Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 4(2), 1992.

Focuses on the relationship between a primary prevention initiative, the Rite of Passage Experience©, and subsequent therapeutic work with children and their families. The paper defines the clinical utility of the ROPE® program. It challenges the field of prevention and therapy to consider the importance of prevention initiatives that can be utilized as a function for subsequent psychotherapy with children and families.

Seeing college as a rite of passage: What might be possible?
Blumenkrantz, D.G. & Goldstein, M., in Hanson, C., (ed) In search of self: Exploring undergraduate Identity Development. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, (2014).

College is a community of diversity. Whatever else college may be to such a diverse citizenry – students, staff, faculty, administration and parents – it is a place where young people come of age. It is a place where intentional rites of passage can be of service to a student’s identity and social development, with additional benefits for the college community as well as the larger society. Intentionally designed rite-of-passage experiences can powerfully impact students and the greater college environment. This chapter briefly explores what a rite of passage is (and is not), the importance and benefits of such experiences, and some practical strategies for integrating rites of passage into the campus setting.


The only way to change our story and transform the future is if we do it with and for our children and each other. With this consciousness PERMIE KIDs is uniting with the Center for Youth & Community to forge a unique partnership. Together, with you, we can be part of writing a new educational story that can change the future for our children and the planet.

Rush to reading & reflection before action is essential to effectively change the story and transform the future. The Center for Youth & Community offers many different strategies for engaging in conversations around questions that are related to youth & community development through rites of passage. The goal is to help you find the rite way that responds to your interests, needs, culture and setting and supports the creation of your rite of passage story. These resources about youth and community development through rites of passage are available for download from this website. We encourage you to access these articles and share them with your colleagues and community. And, then to engage in conversations with the electronic campfire or with David & Jen to answer questions and support your efforts.

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