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Irving Recreation Center              After School Newsletter

December 2010


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Winter Break Drop-in (FREE)

December 23: 1-8 p.m.
December 24 & 25: Closed
December 27-30: 1-8 p.m.
December 31 & January 1: Closed
Parent/Guardian Survey

Please consider taking a moment to complete a brief survey about your family's experience with Irving Recreation Center. The information we receive is valuable to us as we gauge the effectiveness of our work with young people and is also used as part of a larger evaluation of our performance according to City budget outcomes. The survey is anonymous and can be completed online in approximately 2-3 minutes by clicking the link below.

For more information about City of Lincoln budget priorities and performance measures, visit TAKING CHARGE 2010.
RECognized Student of the Month

RECognized Student of the Month - December 2010Irving
Rec. Center is pleased to announce that seventh-grader Christian S. has been selected as our December RECognized Student of the Month. Christian can usually be found after school either in the IRC Homework Room, playing ping-pong with friends, or working on robots with his Irving Rec. Center FIRST LEGO League teammates.  Regarldess of the situation, Christian is always safe, respectful, and responsible. Congratulations, Christian!
Positive Youth Development
Irving Recreation Center is dedicated to offering young people the supports and experiences necessary to grow up happy and successful. Each month's email from the Rec. Center will include ideas for how everyone can respond to the changes and challenges of raising our kids in positive, healthy ways. This month we consider the role safety plays in the lives of young people.


Combating fear, and growing up safe in an unsafe world

Young people who feel threatened, unsafe, or scared often spend a lot of time trapped in fear or in their attempts to protect themselves. They're less likely to venture forth and take some healthy risks. On the other hand, young people who feel safe are more likely to feel secure enough to try new things. That's why safety is an important part of feeling empowered. Fear, both imaginary and real, is a normal part of growing up. The key is learning to overcome it. Safety is Asset 10 of Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.


Here are the facts

Research shows that young people who feel safe in their surroundings are more likely to make positive contributions. About 51 percent of young people, ages 11-18, say they feel safe at home, at school, and in their neighborhood, according to Search Institute surveys. The key to safety is to create and maintain an environment that minimizes fear and maximizes opportunities to take healthy risks.


Tips for building this asset

Media reports fuel reality-based fears, such as crimes and accidents. You may inadvertently add to young people's insecurity by feeling anxious yourself and believing the world is dangerous. Young people pick up on adults' attitudes and beliefs even if they don't tell children how they're feeling. Be aware of your behavior, body language, and words-and those coming from others. When you talk to young people about particularly upsetting or frightening events, remind them such occurrences aren't common. Point out the many ways people take care of one another to be safe.


What youth say about safety at Irving Recreation Center
According to the young people we serve, Irving Recreation Center contributes to increased feelings of safety and security.  In fact, 92% report feeling safe at the rec. center compared to 80% who feel safe in the neighborhood in which they live (Source: 2009-2010 Youth Outcome Assessment). Next month we are luanching a SAFE PLACE campaign to reinforce that sense of safety and security.


Want to know more about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them? Visit
On behalf of our staff, volunteers, and the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department, I extend a warm wish to you and your family for a safe and happy Holiday Season.

Take care,

Dan Payzant
Center Director
Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.