Youth-Nex focuses on multi-investigator, cross-disciplinary systematic research efforts. These research projects represent the current and on-going work at Youth-Nex in the area of engaged citizenship.

“Asking kids about their lives is an important way to inform our work,” Tolan said. “The work would be impoverished if we didn’t.” 
–Patrick Tolan, Professor Emeritus

Research Projects

  • Research Project

Charlottesville Freedom School

Freedom Schools, an initiative of the Children’s Defense Fund, are rooted in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer project.  

Replicated in locations across the country, Freedom Schools offer a 6-week summer program aimed at developing K-12 students literacy skills through culturally relevant practices, community engagement, and civic engagement. 

The 2024 Charlottesville Freedom School is on hiatus.

  • Research Project

Youth Action Lab

A Youth-Nex and Equity Center Initiative

YAL partners with local teachers, schools, and youth-serving organizations to train and support youth, particularly those from historically marginalized communities, in using research to improve their lives and communities. Through Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), young people learn to systematically research issues they care about and take action to address them.

  • Research Project

Promoting Effective Teaching Methods by New Teachers Good Behavior Game + My Teaching Partner

This randomized control trial conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Virginia applied two proven behavior management approaches (PAX Good Behavior Game and My Teaching Partner™) to the training of new teachers in Kindergarten through grade 3. The goal was to help the teachers undertake their work with skills that can enable better classroom management and less intrusion on instructional goals.

  • Research Project

Improving Classroom Learning Environments by Cultivating Awareness & Resilience in Education (CARE)

Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) is a unique Professional Development program for teachers developed by The Garrison Institute being tested under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Educational Sciences (IES).