If you’ve ever stood on a stage while a middle schooler…

  • pulled a pickle out of his sock during your talk
  • pretended to be a snake, slithering through the rows of chairs as you spoke
  • would simply not stop talking to others around them

then you know how difficult it can be to communicate both in a way this group understands and keeps their attention.

But difficult doesn’t mean impossible.

After nearly 20 years of teaching middle schoolers, Ashley Bohinc shares the unique mix of ART and SCIENCE that has helped her keep the attention of thousands in this in-between phase of life. Communicating to Middle Schoolers will help you:

  • Know and better understand middle schoolers, culturally and developmentally
  • Learn how to develop messages that middle schoolers can absorb and connect with
  • Prepare your delivery in ways that work for you as the communicator and engage your students
  • Build your teaching and feedback teams (because you aren’t meant to do this alone!)
  • Reflect on your current practices and plan the next steps for your context

With practical strategies and tips you can start using this week, Communicating to Middle Schoolers will help you connect with your students on stage, in the classroom, and anywhere else you might find yourself developing and delivering messages to preteens and junior high students.

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“After 40 years of communicating to middle schoolers—sometimes from a stage, weekly in my small group—I’m still learning. This is partly because middle schoolers keep changing; and it’s partly because… well… I still have more to learn, more to improve. Ashley’s engaging and practical book both encouraged and challenged me. My biggest risk (after all these years) is getting in the rut of doing things the same way week after week after week. This book reminded me of core essentials and pushed me to experiment with approaches that are new to me.”

Mark Oestreicher, founder and partner at The Youth Cartel and author of Middle School Ministry and Understanding Your Young Teen

“Ashley provides a deep dive into how to communicate to a special group of youth—middle schoolers. Her knowledge and heart for students in the middle are evident through her stories. At the end of each chapter, there are thought-provoking questions for review. The answers should lead youth workers to a working action plan to sharpen their communication skills. A must-read for middle school ministry leaders and workers!”

Dr. Virginia Ward, Dean of Boston Campus Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, co-author of It’s Personal and Five Views on the Future of Youth Ministry: Perspectives on What Could or Should Be



Ashley Bohinc serves as Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and co-authored The Art of Group Talk for Teenage Girls. Known for her energy, passion, and authenticity, Ashley has worked with middle and high schoolers in public education and athletic and ministry settings since 2004. Additionally, she’s Executive Director of Carry 117, a ministry in Ethiopia that focuses on orphan prevention and family preservation by empowering women. Learn about and connect with Ashley at ashleybohinc.com.

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