Opinion

Support kids in Coupeville

Now is the time we must stand up and support the kids in the Coupeville School District. For several years I’ve been a member o the Central Whidbey Youth Coalition (CWYC). Several of the CWYC members have focused their efforts on bringing a Boys and Girls Club to our school district. Our community has a real need for a safe, supportive place for kids after school, and a Boys and Girls Club will provide that.

I fear that many people believe our small farming community doesn’t need to reach out and help kids. Unfortunately, that’s not true. The CWYC has worked with the Search Institute to make our schools and community aware of the 40 Development Assets, which are the key factors essential for our youths’ success. These assets represent the opportunities, skills, relationships, values and self-perceptions critical to young people. What do we know from evaluations done of our youth (grades 7, 9 and 11) during the last three years?

Many of the asset measurements show strength and improvement. For instance, 72 percent of the youth report good family support, and 73 percent report positive peer influence. But some of the other measurements are storm flags on our horizon!

Only 18 percent of students believe that the community values youth.

Only 29 percent think they have a caring school climate.

Only 30 percent think they live in a caring community.

Only 26 percent have creative activities where they spend time.

It is time to provide a safety net for our youth, and a Boys and Girls Club will do that. The Coupeville Boys and Girls Club will provide a place where kids will get help with homework, a place to learn arts and crafts, a place to learn important life skills, and a place to have fun and relax. It will be their place. And it is all happening in the old fire house at 203 N. Main Street.

We are fortunate in receiving strong support and guidance from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County. Now we need strong support from the people on Whidbey Island. We need volunteers to help work with our kids. And, of course, we need lots of financial support.

The kids don’t pay for our operations, the community does. So lend your support to this effort. Your donations should be sent to the Coupeville Boys and Girls Club, P.O. Box 985, Coupeville WA 98239.

Do you have questions? Do you want to help? Call John Kohlmann at 678-6736 or Sue Roundy at 678-3015.

Together, we can make this happen.

John Kohlmann

Coupeville

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