Other Youth Programs
Sedgwick County Extension also offers other workshops and programs that are open to all youth.
Youth Lawn Mowing Clinic
The Youth Lawn Mowing Clinic is held each March during Spring Break, usually on Wednesday, with a morning and afternoon session. The class is targeted at youth in the 5th-9th grades. The sessions cover basic lawn information, lawn mowing safety, lawn mower maintenance, and how to start a lawn mowing business.
Tractor Safety Course
Audience: 14 years of age and up
A Hazardous Occupations Safety Course and certification (Tractor Safety Course) is required of any youth under the age of 18 that will be operating machinery over 20 horsepower on a farm other than their parents farm. The class is held annually on a Saturday in March at the Sedgwick County Extension Office. Students learn of the various hazards associated with farm chores as well as machinery. They are taught how to properly protect themselves from the hazards. A test is taken, and when passed along with a supervised driving test (supervised driving test is not part of offered course) the student will receive their certificate of completion.
Community Family Board Game Events
Family Field Trips for Summer Fun and Learning
Field trips have been recognized by the National Science Teachers Association and National Research Council as important tools for learning. They offer children opportunities to explore new things in realistic settings and can be fun for the whole family.
Why not try a family field trip this summer? They don't need to be elaborate or costly; try visiting one or more free local sites that you haven't gone to see in the past. A starter list is available online, click here.
When planning your field trip here are some things you might want to consider:
- Ask the children about their interests. Are there any nearby locations that could help them learn more about them?
- Do some research before the field trip. Make a list of activities that are available at the location so nobody will miss out on something they really want to do.
- Set goals with children before the trip about what they might learn. What do they want to know about where you are going? How will they find out?
- Ask questions during the field trip about what the children are seeing and doing. What do they like or dislike and why? Are they seeing or doing anything that reminds them of something they already know?
- Discuss the field trip afterwards. What did they learn and how did they learn it? What did they learn that might be useful in the future? How would they use their new knowledge or skill?
Positive Youth Development Ideas for Parents and Guardians
Being a parent or guardian is hard work—no surprise there, right? Most parents and guardians have things they love about their role as well as challenges that confound them. What might be surprising, though, is that one of the best ways to deal with problems is to focus on positives.
Research shows that a more effective approach to raising healthy, competent kids is to concentrate on building Developmental Assets TM. These assets form the foundation that young people need to make healthy choices and to succeed in life. The more of these 40 Developmental Assets that your kids have, the stronger this foundation will be. There are many asset-building things you already do for your children—even if you don't call them that. Here are some ways to be intentional about helping your children grow into strong, competent adults.
• Post the list of 40 Developmental Assets on your refrigerator door. Each day, do at least one asset-building thing for each family member.
• Connect with other parents who are interested in asset building. Form relationships in your neighborhood, on the job, at church, or through a parent education organization.
• Regularly do things with your child, including projects around the house, recreational activities, and service projects. Take turns planning activities to do together as a family.
• Eat at least one meal together as a family every day,
• Discuss and set family rules and consequences for breaking those rules.
• Develop a family mission statement that focuses on positive growth and development. Then use it to help you make family decisions and set priorities.
• Talk about your values and/or faith, and live in a way that is consistent with them.
• Give your children lots of support and approval, while also challenging them to take responsibility and gain independence.
• If you are parenting alone, look for other adult role models of both genders who can be mentors for your children.
• Nurture your own assets by spending time with people who care about you and are supportive. Also, take opportunities to learn new things, contribute to your community; and have fun. You'll take better care of your children if you take care of yourself.
• Think about the way you were parented and how that affects your relationships with your children. If there are parts of your relationship with your parents that were very difficult or that get in the way of your parenting, consider talking with a minister or counselor about these issues.
• Don't let anyone in your family (including you) watch too much television. Find other interesting and meaningful activities for your children to do—some with you, some with their friends, some by themselves.
• Learn as much as you can about what your kids need at their current ages.
• Recognize that children need more than just financial support. They also need emotional and intellectual support. Balance family time with other priorities like work, recreation, and hobbies.
• Don't wait for problems to arise before talking with your children's teachers. Keep in regular contact with them about how your children are doing and what you can do to help your children learn.
• Think of teenagers as adults in training. Teach them practical skills, such as how to change a tire on the car, do the laundry, prepare a nutritious meal, and create a monthly budget.
• Be aware of differences in how you relate to your children. Are you more comfortable with one gender? If so, why? What impact does that have in your family?
• Talk to your children about the 40 Developmental Assets. Ask them for suggestions of ways to strengthen their assets.
• Do intergenerational activities with extended family and with other neighborhood adults and families.
• Be an asset builder for other young people in your life.
• Remember that you are not alone. Other asset builders in your children's lives include coaches, childcare providers, teachers, club leaders, and neighbors. Work with these people to give kids consistent messages about boundaries and values.
This handout may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only. From Toolkit for Integrating Developmental Assets in Your Congregation. Copyright © 2005 by Search Institute, 615 First Avenue NE, Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413-2211; 800-888-7828; www.search-institute.org. All Rights Reserved.