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Co-ops! … And You: An Educational Cooperative Website For Young People

Cooperatives have consistently identified improved understanding of co-operative basics, particularly among young people and younger members, as a critical need. Addressing this need, the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Cooperatives (UWCC) has launched a website for high school students and young adults. This one-of-a-kind site offers learning modules on a number of relevant cooperative issues as well as resources on scholarships for young cooperators. Adding to this repository of information are links to games and other co-op websites.

Made possible through funding from CHS Cooperatives Foundation, the site is part of a larger campaign to increase understanding of the fundamental principles of cooperatives. Targeted primarily towards high school students and young adults, the site has three learning modules exploring issues of corporate governance, member relations, and the types of cooperatives that exist today. These learning modules use simple, easy to understand language and contain a wealth of information gleaned from various sources. Making the learning experience all the more fun are tidbits of knowledge, scenarios and quizzes.

“For a long time now, we had been thinking of a site catering to a younger audience,” explained Anne Reynolds, Assistant Director, UW Center for Cooperatives, and the architect behind the website. “Our aim was to provide information in an accessible format and the web seemed the most logical place to start.”

uture additions to the site will include more learning modules, case studies, short articles and additional games. Printed copies of the learning modules, activities and other resources will also be developed and distributed to schools, state councils and cooperative organizations, benefiting the cooperative education field tremendously.