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Youth Violence Prevention Education schedule of classes

New after-school classes for adolescents and young adults began this week. Classes will provide opportunity for growth in all dimensions of a young person’s life as listed in the class descriptions below. All programs are free.

A Window Between Worlds — An art expression program that began in Venice, Calif., in the early ’90s for mothers and children living in domestic violence shelters. Weekly art workshops helped families to connect deeply after leaving the shelter. In 1996, the Los Angeles Domestic Violence Council helped to initiate an art program for children. It is my pleasure to have been awarded scholarships for training and $450 toward art supplies to provide this program to families in Pagosa. Classes begin Sept. 27, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and will be held at the Pagosa Springs Youth Center. Any youth, ages 12 to 18, interested in creating art projects to help them with the many challenges they face are welcome, and our encouraged to bring their parents.

The Diamond Standard — This program originated through Alternatives Pregnancy Center in Denver as a way to raise awareness of services that make a difference for life; realizing that youth between the ages of 15 and 29 face more challenges than any other age group. Alternatives published The Diamond Standard curriculum in 2008 and became a model for helping youth believe in themselves. Using the correlation between coal and diamonds, both of which have amazing attributes, students learn that just like a diamond begins as a nugget of coal that is put under immense pressure in order to become a brilliant gem, they also find they, too, are buried under things of life that can be used to help them grow. Did you know, for instance, that coal generates about half of the electricity used in the United States, and that the value of a diamond is not based on its surface, but on the brilliance that shines from within? Youth between the ages of 15 and 29 are invited to begin The Diamond Standard series on Tuesdays, at the Pagosa Springs Youth Center, from 5-6:30 p.m. Childcare will be provided for young parents.

The Nurturing Parenting Program — This program was developed by Dr. Stephen J. Bavolek, a leader in the fields of child abuse and neglect treatment and prevention, and parenting education. As a partner with San Juan Basin Health Department’s Lily Mondragon-Tarbett, R.N., I am honored to have been invited to provide the adolescent version of The Nurturing Parenting Program. Classes have begun for adolescents, ages 12-18, and are held at the HeadStart building, 475 South 8th St. from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Youth are encouraged to invite their parents. Dinner and childcare are provided for all. Parents will learn how to handle their feelings, communicate needs, recognize the needs and feelings of others, and take charge of their behavior, to name but a few results that can be expected from participation in The Nurturing Program. Adolescents will learn the same, using the activities manual for their age group. Parents and teens meet separately for class and then rejoin for dinner and family time.

Classes are sponsored by Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program’s Youth Violence Prevention Education Program, a nonprofit agency that promotes the belief that all people have the right to live free from violence by providing support and advocacy services for victims and education for youth and our community.

For more information and location, call Liz at 264-4152, Ext. 31.