Americorps Report: November
TAC Board Retreat: New Projects
In November, the TAC board had a retreat during which we revised our mission and vision and talked about where TAC has been and where we are headed. Three things that came out of the retreat that I’ve been working on include:
1. Working with teens to create more pro-social activities in our community. We are hoping to partner with community organizations and local businesses to make this an inclusive effort. One event in the works is an Open Mic Night for teens to perform poetry or music. We are looking at January for this event and Elixir Coffee Tea & Flowers has offered to be the venue. Look for more information soon!
2. Creating a middle school program similar to Peer Helpers. Students would receive a shorter training and provide support for their peers, work with the high school Peer Helpers on projects, and act as advocates for the middle schools. This would also provide an opportunity for our high school peer helpers to be mentors and leaders for the middle school peer program.
3. Re-branding the “Teen Arm” so that there’s less confusion around the difference between Peer Helpers (who have received specific training) and youth who want to be involved in TAC. I’m getting input from the Peer Helpers about what they think the “Youth Arm” should be called and what they think the middle school peer program should be called.
Social Norms Posters
Another project I’ve been working on this month is aimed at correcting incorrect ideas about the rates of alcohol and drug use among teens in our community. Using data from the 2014 Healthy Youth Survey, I’ve been creating infographics like the ones below:
Willapa Community Network
My work for WCN this month included creating a website (check it out here: www.willapacommunitynetwork.weebly.com) and reviving their Facebook page (check THAT out here: https://www.facebook.com/Willapa-Community-Network). I’m also coordinating the 2016 WCN Mini-Grants. You can find more information about that on our website. Applications are due December 11th.
Growing Together Community Garden
I’m really excited to be able to volunteer at the Growing Together Community Garden in South Bend for a couple of hours each week as part of my service. If you don’t know, the garden grows food for the food bank (212.5 pounds of fruit and veggies in September alone!) and serve elderly, mildly disabled, low income, and immigrant persons by renting garden beds at low cost and supporting the gardeners with information, consultation, cheer leading, and use of tools and supplies. Check out the garden on Facebook for more info: https://www.facebook.com/Growing-Together-Community-Gardens
Coming Soon: online resources for teens and parents
One last thing I’ve been working on this month is compiling reliable online resources for teens and parents around health, alcohol and other drugs, and social issues. I’m hoping to publish these resources on the TAC website soon, so keep your eyes open for that!
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