Alot of good kids are getting into trouble, whether it be through peer pressure at school, sexual harassment, bullying or drugs. There is no place available that is adventurous and challenging where all kids can gather. The project which took place at the Fairgrounds was designed to provide local youth with opportunities to do something that intentionally teaches life skills through play based learning.
How has 4-H helped?
Drive to Thrive is part of a youth development program which develops positive mindset, based on the Thrive curriculum of 4-H. The project included designing, building and utilization, as a team, of an elevated race track. It was built in sections using science, engineering and technology, with the help of volunteer engineers and contractors. We experimented with alternative energy, and re-utilized materials. The project was opened up to the general public to raise funds for a subsequent project: The Innovation Games. The goal was to awaken the county to a youth development program that can be fun and challenging and that teaches kids the principles of positive mindset, creativity, shifting gears and being part of a team. Eventually, the project will reach out to nearby cities and invite their 4-H Clubs, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and schools to join our events.
The initial project has flourished into something new and exciting that helps kids face challenges and learn new skills in a fun and safe environment.
Members worked together on a common goal while solving real time problems through communication, creativity, and playfulness. The participants found the event challenging, a bit too challenging. The second event proved more successful as kids knew what to expect and pushed themselves to solve new problems. The events were supported by the local fairgrounds, which has now become a safe haven for kids who participate in the After School Mondays Thrive Program, and by a local non-profit, Bread for the Journey, who supplies a small stipend for young people who wish to work with the kids as mentors. The children who participate in the extended Thrive After School Program cover a diverse population: English language learners, special needs kids, foster youth, and low income families