To the Editor:
I was happy to see youth involvement come up as a topic of interest in last week's letters to the editor. With that, I am hoping to shed light on current opportunities or efforts that do exist for our youth.
It's important to highlight that the Chamber of Commerce, Clean Up the River Environment, Granite Falls Riverfront Revitalization, and the Granite Arts Council have several opportunities available, with a driving component being that of not only providing a positive environment for our youth, but to encourage their involvement and utilize their many talents each step of the way.
For example, the Chamber works with YME students on various civic engagement and community art projects. By involving our youth such ways they recognize that they do in fact have a voice and the power to make a difference.
CURE provides positive recreational outlets and any variety of opportunities for youth to form bonds and share skills via projects and activities available at the K.K. Berge building. Canoes and kayaks are also available by way of a program dubbed, "No Child Left Inside." The Granite Arts Council offers Drop In Art Night as well as several art classes for youth to enjoy. Please see last week's Advocate for details on the Summer Youth Art Camp available in July.
GFRR is working to revitalize our riverfront areas which will provide youth with additional positive outlets. Frisbee golf, improved community portages, community art, all of this plays a role in creating an environment youth will enjoy, but better yet, it also involves the use of their talents and involvement directly. All of this is just within the realm of what exists in and around the K.K. Berge building / Chamber of Commerce.
The aesthetics of our "depleted" downtown actually is a vital component for youth, and plays a larger role than one might initially realize. The challenges of small town dynamics must be faced with an awareness of efforts currently taking place, and the ability to see outside of the box with respect to those benefits.
As we all move forward a willingness to roll up our sleeves is important. And, I personally, would like to thank the countless individuals involved with these organizations, as well as the many I did not mention here, for keeping youth as a core component of their work.
Granite Falls Area
Chamber of Commerce