Children benefit from being physically active and involved in organized activities. Active children tend to be more confident, have a greater sense of well-being, experience better health, and are less involved in risky behaviors such as tobacco and drug use.
In the Huron community, 60 percent of the School District’s student population qualify for free and reduced breakfast and lunch program. This statistic identifies that over half of the student population in the public school district meets very specific income guidelines for this support. With the rising cost of organized activities in the community, finances continue to be a huge barrier for children to participate in activities.
Risk and Resource is a community organization which focuses on supporting youth growing in safe and healthy environments, and making wise decisions. With the evidenced-based research identifying how activities decrease involvement in risky behaviors, The Beadle County Risk and Resource Team has decided to take action to create equal access for all children in the community to these Huron community activities.
Therefore, Risk and Resource is beginning a ‘Children’s Activity Fund’ in which community residents can go through a support person to begin the application process order to be considered for assistance with community activity fees. Funding assistance will not be able to be accessed directly by community members.
Why should Huron community members get involved? A study completed by the Portland-area Drug Enforcement Administration identifies that with involvement in one afterschool activity, 70 percent of youth are less likely to get involved in illegal drugs or bad behavior. With two activities, that percentage increases to 90. Therefore, not only can we create an impact for the children accessing these activities but also for our community as a whole.
How can you help? Community members can help by sending donations/sponsorships to Community Counseling Services, attn: Risk and Resource, 357 Kansas AVE SE. You may also contact Risk and Resource chair Kristin Wheeler at 352-8596 in order to learn more about how you may sponsor a child for an organized activity in our community. For the complete article see the 05-07-2013 issue.
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