Animation films usually are not my cup of tea. However, at 4-H Movie Night on Friday, I enjoyed watching Despicable Me. I am a sucker for good-overcoming-evil themes, and this movie nailed it.
It also was a fun feel-good movie to entertain all ages. Thanks for all who came out and enjoyed a simple way to celebrate a safe and positive Friday night. Next time, I promise to get more popcorn and Twizzlers.
Seeing youths from our cloverbud stage of 5 years old to our senior members at 18 reminded me of the importance of hosting such events. The 4-H programs most important resource is our youths. Many of the senior 4-H members at the movie were once cloverbuds. They have grown throughout the years to understand that they are now mentors to our younger youths. We can foster more of this positive behavior through providing low-risk events for our youths to participate in.
Low-risk events are intended to create an environment in which youths are encouraged to make positive choices. Hopefully, these events will establish a positive peer-pressuring culture where healthful lifestyles and good behaviors are the norm. Board games, cooking, sports and science trivia nights are examples of ways communities and families can engage youths in low-risk events.
We should be proud of the youths in La Plata County who are making good healthful choices. The Celebrating Healthy Communities coalition is doing that in its newest Media Campaign intended for youths. The La Plata County 4-H County Council took part in one of many focus groups around the county to assist in the messaging for this campaign. This was a great activity to engage youths in helping them direct how their voices can be heard.
The highlighted message came from data out of the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey. The message is that, 3 out of 4 La Plata County middle and high school students do not drink alcohol because they are too busy skiing, snowboarding, biking, skateboarding, rodeos, powwows, arts, sports, working, club meetings, church groups, exercising and homework. You will see the posters and signs throughout La Plata County with this message and attractive images of youths being active. It was great to have one of my 4-Hers who took part in the focus group remark how cool it was to see one of the posters at her school.
Youths can be encouraged to make healthful life choices by seeing these actions demonstrated by parents and other adult role models. Celebrating Healthy Communities currently is working on an adult-messaging campaign to be displayed in the coming months. The positive messaging in this campaign will highlight the importance of being an engaged parent in your childrens lives.
With spring here and summer around the corner, this is the perfect opportunity to check in with the youths in your life and make a positive low-risk plan for the future and celebrate the good behaviors they have been doing.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6463. Greg Felsen is La Plata County 4-H youth development agent.