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You are here: Home / Newsroom / News Stories / ARCHIVED News Stories / ARCHIVED: 2014 News Stories / LJCF Summer Programs Give Youth New Experiences

LJCF Summer Programs Give Youth New Experiences

by Kim Teegerstrom last modified Jul 07, 2015 02:26 PM
This summer, youth residents at the Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility (LJCF) have participated in activities designed to help them release typical teenage energies while enjoying the summer break from school.

LJCF's annual Summer Fun Day supports a harmonious environment between LJCF youth and staff. Historically, many of the young offenders have encountered negative interactions with adults in authority positions, such as police officers, judges, teachers or administrators. The Summer Fun Day gives youth and staff a chance to improve communications through participating in outdoor activities typically engaged in by most children.  Sponsored by the Youth Special Events Committee and the Employee Activity Committee, the event includes a water balloon toss, dunk tank, watermelon eating contest, and tug of war, as well as other entertaining games and activities. The day concluded with a barbecue meal for youth and staff. This year’s event was held in LJCF east and west yards on July 24.

During the local Pawnee County 4-H fair, held July 23-26, several youth submitted art projects they completed during activities and woodworking classes at LJCF.  One youth resident entered his drawing of the state of Kansas, which included Kansas college mascots and other state symbols. Another artist entered a drawing of a Native American woman with her horse and also a patriotic portrait of a Marine, which earned third place.  This youth also received a grand champion ribbon for a wooden bowl he made on the lathe. A fellow classmate earned the reserve grand champion award for his wooden lamp, also made on the lathe.  A fourth youth resident used Lego pieces to build a ship, which won the grand champion ribbon for his division.  These achievements are a reflection of the artistic and creative talent seen in many of the LJCF youth.

On August 8, the LJCF activities department provided several youth with the opportunity to learn techniques for a successful barbecue.  A favorite leisure activity, barbecuing promotes pro-social interactions with family and friends. Barbecuing also can become a competitive and income-generating hobby. Participating youth, who had to have earned the highest privilege level, were placed on teams of six with staff serving as group leaders. Each team learned how to select meat, properly and safely prepare the cuts, use a smoker to cook the meat and present the finished product to a panel of judges. While the grill sizzled, youth also were taught the importance of enjoying the outdoors and engaging in leisure-time activities.

Staff hope that with these newfound interests and skills, the youth will be better able to build more positive pastimes once they return to the community.

(Article content provided by CT Taylor, Corrections Counselor; Matt Simmons, Activity Specialist; and Paul Zamarripa, Activities Director.)


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