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Irving Recreation Center              After School Newsletter

January 2011


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Important Dates

FRIDAY, JAN. 14 (NO SCHOOL) - Free drop-in, 1-6 pm; free open gym (18 & under), 1-5 pm  


RECognized Student of the Month

RECognized Student of the Month
Irving Rec. Center is pleased to announce that eighth-grader TJ G. has been selected as our January RECognized Student of the Month. TJ was nominated due to his top-notch performance as an after-school volunteer through the rec. center's "Help Wanted" program and his friendly personality.  He is always safe, respectful, and responsible. Congratulations, TJ!
Summer Day Camp 2011

Registration for this year's Summer Day Camp programs at Irving Recreation Center will begin January 24.  At Parks and Recreation camps, parents and participants can expect:
  • A focus on large group games and active play
  • Skill building with challenging activity levels
  • Site-based activities and city-wide field trips
  • Individual exploration of interests through a wide range of activities offered.

At Irving Recreation Center, we offer programs for children and youth who are currently enrolled in grades K-7.  Click here for more information or to download a registration form.

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 empowerment plays in the lives of young people.


Give young people a chance to show you what they can do

Feeling valued and appreciated is important to all of us. For young people, this means feeling safe and believing they're liked and respected. These feelings can go a long way toward empowering children and youth. Providing opportunities and recognizing accomplishments helps young people build self-esteem. This in turn, gives them the confidence to share their ideas, knowledge, and creativity by volunteering and working in paid jobs. By paying attention to young people, you show that you value them. Empowerment is one of the eight asset categories that make up 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 the more young people are valued and feel valuable, the more likely they are to grow up healthy and avoid risky behaviors, such as alcohol and other drug use, violence, and early sexual activity. Search Institute has identified four assets in the Empowerment category crucial for helping young people grow up healthy: Community Values Youth, Youth as Resources, Service to Others, and Safety.


Tips for building these assets

It's not always easy to know what it takes for young people to feel empowered. Sometimes young people doubt themselves or don't feel valued despite the good intentions of and recognition from caring adults. Communicate with young people openly and honestly about relationships, politics, religion, and other serious issues.  Young people need to know that their questions and concerns are valid and important.

Youth Empowerment Project
In response to feedback from youth and their parents that empowerment was an area we could give additional attention, Irving Recreation Center initiated it's Youth Empowerment Project at the start of the 2010-2011 school year.  The following initiatives highlight some of the ways in which we are currently working to empower youth: Student Advisory Board, "Help Wanted" After School Volunteer Program, Agents of Change, RECognized Student of the Month, and our January Safe Place Campaign.


Safe Place Campaign
If you have been in the rec. center this month, you may have noticed elements of our Safe Place Campaign. What does safety have to do with empowerment? Research suggests that for young people to experience empowerment, they must first be safe and feel secure.  The purpose of this intitiative is to reinforce the sense of safety and security that we want all young people to experience after school. Stop by and check out what program participants are saying about safety at the rec. center!

Best wishes for a healthy and happy new year!

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.