Last year local teens were given a survey, asking about issues important to the junior high demographic. Not surprisingly the answers reflected the following: Town teens feel disconnected and under valued. I can't say I blame them.. The most recent youth commission meeting minutes posted at the town website show a date of april 15,08...eight months old... not a top priority??? Items on the agenda included a skate board park sub committee with short discussion on funding a less expensive park. Earlier this month about three dozen teenagers attended the recent LG council debate held at The Venue and spoke about issues affecting youth. The recent General Plan Committee Meeting on November 1st had a few teens in attendance. One young woman from LGHS voiced her concern of shopping downtown being out of reach to most kids.. Her exact quote was about not wanting to spend $500 for a pair of jeans. YSI is in grave danger of dissolving due to lack of funding... So if the town talks about the importance of youth services, then why is our community so poorly served?
If any time was a 911 call it seems to be now. When important projects like YSI are scrambling to keep the doors open, literally scrambling to scrape together 300K before they will close the doors two weeks from today. The Venue, as mentioned previously serves more kids in this community, doing more to keep them safe, off the street, and occupied then any other service club or organization and then the red herring of the wish list a potential skate park, go begging for money only to come up short of both cash and interest.
How can we create a culture of civic responsibility? A culture of caring -if we as adults can't seem to set a precedence and pony up the support necessary for these important programs.
I have a couple of ideas: we could set up a" skip-your latte" fund and help the under served in our community with the collection. What about a "hire a teen" service to pitch in with the over 50 crowd that can't seem to check a comcast account without tech support, or configure the AARP demographic ipods to listen to prairie home companion..certainly would be a step in the right direction.
With what looks to be very little help forth coming I think it's fair to say the message sent to our community's children: we don't think it's important to fund or furnish extracurricular.
The many civic minded individuals in this town who give and give of themselves and open checkbooks are to be applauded. How can we create a culture of civic responsibility ? The campaign to save YSI needs our attention NOW.. please consider writing a check. www.youthscience.org