youth is focus of group
Recently the Ripley County faith
community teamed up with the ASAP (Association for Substance Abuse
Prevention) Center and Indiana Youth Institute to celebrate the
completion of a two-year-long asset building training series.
This was held at the Church on the Rock in Batesville.
The faith-based group invited other agencies that work with youth
within the community to join them in celebration. Churches participating
in the faith-based asset training were Church on the Rock of Batesville;
Grace Community International, New Marion Baptist Church, Solid
Rock Bible Fellowship, St. Paul Lutheran, Olean, St. Peters
United Church of Christ (Finks), The Upper Room Fellowship,
and Versailles Community Church.
Other groups represented at this celebration were the ASAP Center,
Indiana Youth Institute (IYI), the Versailles Lions Club,
Tyson Library, Voices for Children (CASA), Child Evangelism Fellowship
(Good News Clubs), Community Partners, First Baptist Church of
Milan, Southeastern Indiana Learning Center, the Osgood Journal
and The Versailles Republican, and the Herald Tribune.
At least two youth groups were represented at the celebration:
The Rock Solid Youth group with youth pastors Danny and Heather
May and Tyson Librarys TNTeen group with coordinator Kim
Vicki Culler, director of ASAP, Cincinnati, OH, provided asset
training and worked closely with this group. Each group received
a $100 voucher from Culler for participating. The money is to
be used to purchase asset-building materials to enrich the lives
of area youth. She also made available $200 to congregations.
Its been a pleasure to witness your caring, commitment,
and creativity. As a result of your participation, your congregation
is eligible to receive $200 to support its intentional asset building
Paula Goodpaster from the Upper Room Fellowship was on hand to
remind the group that asset training helps us see things
differently and molds us to the asset framework. She honored
each faith group that participated in the program.
The training program is all about how churches, groups, organizations,
and individuals can network together, recognize problem areas,
and change the course of the future for the youth of today who
Linda Henderson of IYI introduced Bill Stanczkiewicz, president
and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute. He made a passionate speech
about what building blocks kids need the most to succeed.
Stanczkiewicz maintains that kids are hardwired to
connect to family and community, as well as moral and spiritual
truth. He said scientists have researched these things and have
relayed to medical doctors that this is how the DNA of humans
is made up.
Some research released by the IYI revealed that children in Indiana
are more likely to have health insurance than other places in
the country. He also noted that 10% of a childs life happens
in the classroom - 90% with family and community.
Kids need what the faith-based community has to offer,
Stanczkiewicz told those gathered in Batesville. He reminded the
church people who attended the event that they need to work together
for the good of their kids. Kids need love and support.
They need hope. People need to work together. The kids need it!
he emphatically stated.
Data shared that evening from Kids County in Indiana can be found
Stanczkiewicz gave some statistics saying the child poverty level
in Indiana stands at 17.1%. The child poverty level in Ripley
County is at 12.7%. As of 2009, children in Indiana who were receiving
a free lunch at school were 33.2%. In Ripley County, that percentage
was 21.5%. Reduced lunches in the schools of Indiana were a percentage
of 8.6% in 2009 and 9% for Ripley County.
Other statistics revealed that the Jac-Cen-Del School District
has the highest poverty level with the South Ripley district running
a close second. South Ripley has the most single-parent families
and the highest percentage of kids who are eligible for the free
lunch program. Milan has the highest percentage of kids who are
eligible for reduced lunches.
Some practice tips were given for adults to help kids have solid
building blocks. They included:
Help kids sign up for what they are eligible for.
Work with local food banks to help provide needs.
Church goers need to be mentors to students.
Check out free resources that can help adults help children.
Give kids hope by giving them love and support.
We dont have a kid problem; we have an adult problem.
Adults are not giving what our kids need...kids need us,
Stanczkiewicz said. He concluded by saying kids need hope and
we need to work together.