FCSS Youth Services Supervisor Krista Carlson talks to adults who work, volunteer or interact with children and youth at the first of two Growing Great Kids workshops on Jan. 31 at the Flipside Youth Centre. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lakers learn how to Grow Great Kids

The FCSS and SPARC Coalition workshops are to help build assets and developmental relationships

Sylvan Lake FCSS and the Strengthening Positive Assets and Resiliency in Communities (SPARC) Coalition are hosting Growing Great Kids workshops for parents and those who work with children and youth.

The workshops give a little bit more knowledge in how to work best with kids and be more intentional about how adults do their work or how they are parenting.

The first of two workshops was held on Jan. 31 at the Flipside Youth Centre for adults who work, volunteer or interact with children and youth.

The three hour workshop talked about three different concepts to do with cognitive youth development, and how those three concepts can help adults help their kids to thrive in the community.

“One of those concepts [is] the 40 Developmental Assets and it’s a framework that kind of helps us to know what kids need in our community, so we know that the more of these 40 assets that kids have the better off they are,” said FCSS Youth Services Supervisor Krista Carlson in a phone interview.

Carlson added they also talked about “sparks,” which are the passions kids have, the things that bring them joy and give them energy.

She said it is important kids are able to find and identify those sparks, as well as to have adults who nurture those sparks to help the kids thrive in the community and be better contributing members of the community.

“We also talked about a new concept that there’s lots of research coming out about, developmental relationships, so just taking relationships a little bit further, a little bit deeper and how we as adults can help build those developmental relationships with kids and just make sure they feel supported in our community,” said Carlson.

The second Growing Great Kids workshop, which will be geared towards parents, will be held on Feb. 7 in the Fox Run School Fine Arts Centre from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“It’s really practical information that anybody can do,” said Carlson. “It’s not going to be super theoretical, it’s just going to be ‘here are some tips and tricks on how to help our kids be the best they can be.’”

Carlson added the workshops also includes a couple of surveys they have done with kids in the community in the last few years to see how they are experiencing those assets already, look at where the kids are and how they can help better them down the line.

“I think the survey information is really interesting for parents because they like to know where our kids are at already and it gives them an opportunity to go home and start a conversation with their own kids,” added Carlson.

There is space available in the Feb. 7 workshop and any parent or community member interested in signing up can contact Krista Carlson at 403-887-1137 ext. 223 or at kcarlson@sylvanlake.ca.

This training is typically held over a day or two, but has been broken down into mini workshops to introduce people to these concepts, help build these assets and developmental relationships.

Carlson held a full-day training last June and is hoping to hold another this coming June.

SPARC has many initiatives that happen throughout the year which address the developmental assets and developmental relationships.

More information can be found at sylvanlake.ca/SPARC.

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