Assets in Action: Help kids make decisions

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Asset number eight is Youth as Resources — and our focus for this week.
What ways can you involve youth in decision making? As a part of your home, school, community or business, what input can they provide to make things better?
The Chamisa Student Council is currently collecting food items to donate to those in need — in and around our community.
The youth work as decision makers for the school, with the leaders selected to bring the thoughts and concerns of the school to the table.
They work on a variety of projects including taking collections for non-profits and more importantly, coming up with the list of those organizations, for which to give.
Often adults may want input from kids, but lead them in decision making by providing all of the information.
At Chamisa Elementary, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade representatives staff every class from kindergarten through sixth grade to get their input.
The students are taught how to ask questions and field answers, regardless of the responses they receive.
The students then get the final say as to what projects they work on and when they do them.
The leaders take full responsibility for bringing the decisions back to their classes and promoting the events as they arrive on the calendar.
Several of the sixth graders are also working on fundraising for their annual field trip. The students came up with an idea to raise funds, discussed it with their teacher and are working to educate their classmates on the process involved to accomplish their goal.
Kids can amaze us when we let them. Sometimes we just need to open our minds, close our mouths and listen.

The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce sponsor Assets in Action.