Putting Assets into Action: Not a creative bone in your body? No problem!

-A A +A
By The Staff

This week we take a look at Asset #17, Creative Activities. According to the Search Institute, “Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they spend three or more hours a week engaged in music, theater or other arts.”

I should have turned the column this week over to someone who is a more knowledgeable source. I’m about as creative as a turnip, with no disrespect to turnips.

I can assure you that I may volunteer three hours a week, read three hours a week or at least listen to music three or more hours a week, but that is the extent of my wisdom on this Asset.

Perhaps this is an excellent opportunity to explain that I don’t expect everyone to have all 40 Assets. As a matter of fact, I don’t have all 40 of these Assets, but the more a person has, the data shows the more successful they can be in life.

This asset kicks off one of four opportunities to discuss the category titled, Constructive Use of Time. You don’t need to be brilliant in any single category, but do dabble in those you know nothing about.

This Asset can be broached by wandering through the art gallery of Mesa Public Library or the Art Center at Fuller Lodge. You don’t need to buy anything, pay for any type of special class or lesson, there are many things that can be done at very little or no cost at all.

If your kids are young, keep a little craft box full of supplies like construction paper, stickers you obtain from multiple sources and old greeting cards that can be cut up and recycled for another card. Make thank you cards that can be used on a moment’s notice for a good deed.

There are plenty of musical opportunities available like the Gordon concert series, again CDs are available at the libraries with opera, classical and music from other cultures.

The Search Institute also tells us that, “Kids who listen to 10 minutes of Mozart before a test had higher scores than students who sat in silence or listened to relaxation tapes.” Perhaps the district will take that into consideration during the dreaded state mandated tests. You can even offer to buy or donate a CD to the classroom.

The Los Alamos Public Schools have made several attempts to offer after school theater opportunities for all students. Your student might not be the headliner, but look for a small part that could allow the acting bug to bite.

I know it makes some of you cringe, but conversation is always free, so ask if they have a preference or what they would like to try as an individual or a family. Again don’t let an emphasis be on being the greatest, make it great that they are willing to try.

Also, you can always display art projects created at any age. A decent frame is a great investment for a paper piece.

Give a clay pot a priority spot or use it as a receptacle to hold something valuable like a ring when not worn or your cell phone, so it can be found every morning.

On a separate note, I hope you’ll join us for Cookies and Conversation at  12:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. We’ll pay a special tribute to former chatter Ken Ewing. Families with kids in sixth grade and up are invited to spend an hour meeting local senior citizens, enjoying conversation and cookies.

Assets is also working with the Los Alamos Cooperative Extension Office to teach free nutrition and exercise education classes for families. At 3:30 p.m.  Tuesday in the United Church of Los Alamos, families can take part in a 90-minute session, learning skills and making a free dinner to take home. The event is called A Family A Fare and is sponsored by NMSU, the Los Alamos JJAB and Con Alma. To find out how your family can participate, call us at 661-4846.

Bernadette Lauritzen is the Assets In Action Coordinator sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board. You can hear her Mondays from 9-10 am on AM 1490, KRSN. Listen this week as she interviews local teen Nadine Sanchez about New Mexico’s Most Outstanding Teen competition and other youth activities in town.