Sunday, March 18, 2007

Planning for youth

In his recent editorial, Amador Ledger Dispatch Editor Raheem Hosseini pointed out that Amador County communities have largely done a poor job of engaging youth and providing things for them to do.

Maybe that’s due in part to our county’s agricultural roots. On farms and ranches, kids don’t need youth or recreation centers, sports fields, or other urban-suburban amenities to keep them occupied. They have chores to do, greater responsibilities to assume as they mature,
4-H and Future Farmers of America to teach them social and leadership skills, and plenty of places to get outside and have fun. Who needs a skateboard when you can indulge a need for speed on horseback?

Leaders who grew up in a rural, agricultural setting may have difficulty understanding why some people think Amador County needs
more facilities and opportunities for youth. It’s not that they’ve been sticking their heads in the sand, but rather that the concept is simply outside their experience.

But the fact is, most local kids don’t live on farms and ranches anymore, and paying more attention to their needs is long overdue.

I’ve always been amazed that there are youth centers in Calaveras County’s small communities, including West Point and Mountain Ranch. If they can do it, certainly we can, too. And we should.

What’s happening with that empty Safeway building in Jackson, anyway? Seems ideal: a big building, right in town, with a large parking lot for a skate park. All it needs is a champion and some visionary leadership.

If we can have a Senior Foundation, why not a Youth Foundation?

Maybe Raheem could serve on the board.

1 comment:

Loraine Davis said...

Hi Katherine,

I think this is a good idea long over due, both the need for activities for our youth and the blog. Now that we have ACRA off and running with Tracey Towner Yep and the County and most of the Cities promoting it, I think it's time has come to do more for the youth of our County.

I'd be happy to promote this site in my emailings. Just let me know. Keep up the good work!

Loraine Davis