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Youth hash sling with local chefs on Thursdays

 
Diane Barrett of the famed Diane’s Restaurant and Bakery cooks with youthSilver City, New Mexico, June 29, 2015:   Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (YSAPC) is giving local youth a chance to hash sling with professionals this summer.  Every Thursday a local chef will share a recipe for free with participants at the 10:30 a.m. in The Volunteer Center’s Nuevos Comienzos Kitchen, 501 E. 13th St. 
 
The time honored tradition of hash slinging, more mundanely known as cooking, is a new activity to this year’s list of 101 Things For Youth To Do In Grant County. The activity was added, because youth who cook with their parents are less likely to abuse drugs, according to a study by the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. 
 
Co-owner of Diane’s Restaurant and Bakery, Diane Barrett shared an Italian tomato sauce recipe during last Thursday’s initial demonstration. 
 
Barrett said, “This is the first recipe I cooked for myself.  It’s a great base sauce you can use to create several dishes like stuffed zucchini or lasagna.” 
 
The crowd of youth learned the secret techniques to create Barrett’s famous spaghetti sauce. “The key is to take time for the food to gather its flavor, and caramelizing is the secret to a good sauce,” added Barrett as she served up the spaghetti, cheesy garlic bread and a garden salad.
 
“You can taste the individual flavors,” said Sinea Runnels, who attended to complete the activity from the list of 101 Things For Youth To Do In Grant County, a program that offers free activities for youth at over 60 local establishments throughout the summer.  The cooking demonstration is activity #11 “become a hash slinger on Thursdays.” The challenge is based on The Silver City Arts and Cultural District’s original program “101 Things To Do In Silver City.”
 
Barrett also taught cutting techniques, including safety tips like how to keep mushrooms from rolling around on the cutting board. Hint: Nip one side of the mushroom’s top so it can lay flat on the cutting board. 
 
Barrett also praised the equipment at the Nuevos Cominenzos’ community commercial kitchen, “Beautiful kettles here at the Volunteer Center!” 
 
This Thursday, July 2, 2015, Priscilla Lucero will teach youth to make home-made flour tortillas. Lucero says, “I don’t want our traditions to be lost, and it’s important to share our regional recipes with our youth to preserve our community’s culture.” 
 
The cooking demonstrations are free, and part of the 101 Things For Youth To Do In Grant County Youth.  The summer challenge requires youth to complete twenty activities, and at least ten activities must be at local establishments, to be eligible for weekly prize drawings. Entry cards are available during the cooking demonstrations and at all public libraries in the Grant County.
 
The YSAPC is composed of 25 service providers and invested community members dedicated to creating an environment that cultivates healthy productive lifestyles through policy and advocacy change that promotes resilient and empowered youth.
 
To RSVP  a spot in any of the upcoming cooking demonstrations call the YSAPC at (575) 388-1198 or  to learn more visit their website at www.facebook.com/YSAPC. 
 
Hash sling schedule:
July 2 – Priscilla Lucero, New Mexico Southwest Council of Governments
July 9 – TBA 
July 16 – Tina Klassen, Millie’s Bake House
July 23 – Rob Connoley, The Curious Kumquat

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2015 08:09

101 Things for Youth returns this summer

101 Things 2015Silver City, New Mexico, May 26, 2015: The free summer-long challenge for area youth, “101 Things For Youth To Do In Grant County,” kicks off Saturday (May 30, 2015)  from noon to 4 p.m. on the Grant County Courthouse Lawn, 201 N. Cooper St.Youth and their families will have a chance to see the prizes that will be raffled throughout the summer, ask questions about the challenge, enter give-a-ways and enjoy food, and like all the 101 Things to Do, everything is free.

Over 60 local establishments have banded together with the Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (YSAPC) to offer the free summer challenge for youth. The challenge is based on The Silver City Arts and Cultural District’s original program “101 Things To Do In Silver City.”

Silver City Arts and Cultural District and Tourism Director, George Julian Dworin said, “I think it’s fantastic. It’s very exciting for Silver City Arts and Cultural District to partner in such a valuable program for youth!”

To participate in 101 Things just use the entry card; there is no need to register.  Cards were distributed last week to all middle and high school students, but cards are also available at local public libraries and all participating establishments.

Participants must complete 20 activities listed on the card to be eligible for prizes, at least ten activities must be those offered by establishments. Parents or youth can vouch for the other ten activities, and then youth drop off the completed entry card to be eligible for prizes raffled throughout the summer.  Drop boxes for completed cards are listed on the card and located throughout the County.

The program is intended for youth from ages 12 to 18. Younger ages may participate, too.

YSAPC Coordinator Razanna Robinson-Thomas says, “The YSAPC thinks this project would help answer the multigenerational question, ‘What is there to do?’ Also, it strengthens the number one resistance factor for youth…bonding!  When youth feel connected to the community, they are less likely to abuse substances. We want to foster that vital connection for youth this summer!”

Youth can enter as many times as able, and YSAPC encourages youth to complete all 101 activities.Prizes include skateboards, iPods, iTunes, speakers, headphones, watches, and gift certificates for a wide variety of services. Prizes were selected by youth focus groups held by YSAPC.

Also, don’t worry about how youth will get to the 101 activities, entry card act as a free bus pass on Corre Caminos, and also completes Number 31 on the list, “Take a free ride on Corre Caminos.”

Bayard Public Library is #51 on the list, and offers a chance to “get involved.” Library Director Sonia Dixon says, “We have crafts across the board for youth at our new library.” Crafts available include pottery, painting, murals, bracelets and more.

Dixon adds, “For teenagers we have an enormous new graphic novel selection, including Manga and comics. Also, renowned animator Ralph Bakshi will kick off our summer reading program on Friday, June 5 at 10:30 a.m. with animation drawing.”

Also, youth have the opportunity to “become a hash slinger on Thursdays” with local chefs, #11 on the list.  

Diane Barrett, co-owner of Diane’s Restaurant with her son, will share her award winning recipes with youth.  “My specialty is accumulating the available flavor in a dish, and the little extra cooking time gets the full flavor from your ingredients.”

Barrett adds, “Working with our local youth will be great fun! I’ll be teaching youth how to create a sauce from real flavors as opposed to opening a can.”

YSAPC member, Jim Helgert represents substance abuse treatment sector on the Coalition. Helgert says “I think it’s a great opportunity for youth to get out of the house and see what Grant County has to offer and be proud of our community. “ 

Helgert is enthusiastic about the program, “I think it’s amazing. This is what has been need for a long time: to bring the businesses, youth and community together!”

The YSAPC is composed of 25 service providers and invested community members dedicated to creating an environment that cultivates healthy productive lifestyles through advocacy and policy change that promotes resilient and empowered youth.

For more information on the kick-off of 101 Things for Youth To Do in Grant County on Saturday, May 30, 2015, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Grant County Courthouse lawn, 201 N. Cooper St., call (575) 388-1198 visit or the website at www.facebook.com/YSAPC.

The YSAPC  is a program of the Grant County Community Health Council, the Health and Wellness Planning Authority of the Grant County Board of Commissioners, and is supported by Gila Regional Medical Center.  

Last Updated on Monday, 25 May 2015 15:44

6th Street School Orchard planted

6th Street School plants first Neighborhood Orchard

6th St Garden Crew 4-25-15Silver City, New Mexico, May 2, 2015: 6th Street Elementary School students will soon be enjoying the fruits of their labor after successfully planting the first Neighborhood Orchard at their school last Saturday (April 25, 2015).  

“We had family night on Thursday. Our parents toured the garden and new orchard, and they were in awe.” said 6th Street School Principal Lisa Ortega. “It’s a great program that gets the community involved and coming forth to support our students.” Over 50 hours were volunteered by students and community members to plant the 12 different varieties of fruit trees and vines comprising the orchard.

“Fruit was the number one request when I asked students what they wanted in their garden,” said Elena Mitchel, school garden expert and Food Corps member. Mitchel oversees the 6th Street School Garden and Orchard. “They loved helping to pick out what fruits to plant. Grapes and the purple Stanley Plums were the top choices.”

The Neighborhood Orchards Project intends to plant twenty orchards throughout Grant County in the coming years. The orchards will be located in areas with little or no access to existing communal fruit trees or edible plants.

The project was funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and the Grant County United Way.  A coalition of agencies, organizations and municipalities are collaborating on the orchard planting project, which is led by the Grant County Community Health Council.

“It’s only fitting that our first Neighborhood Orchard is located at the first public school in New Mexico,” said Kendra Milligan, who coordinates the project.

New Mexico ranks first in the nation for childhood hunger, according to the Map the Meal Gap study by Feeding America, with a child hunger rate of 29 percent, well above the national average of 18 percent.

Mitchel says, “In the garden program the kids learn about nutrition and healthy eating. We had lots of veggies and even some grains in the garden, but we were in need of fruit to provide the garden with examples of this important element of healthy nutrition.”

Town of Silver City Office of Sustainability’s Denise Smith provided education about trees and pruning for the volunteers through a grant from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, “Trees not only absorb carbon dioxide, but produce oxygen. They provide habitat for birds, offer much needed shade, and act as windbreaks and noise barriers. Of course, edible fruit is an added benefit for everyone.”

Mitchel added, “It is a joy to connect and collaborate with people from all over the community, and it is a great lesson for the kids to see people coming together to make something beautiful and good.”

Future Neighborhood Orchard plantings are tentatively schedule for San Lorenzo Elementary School on May 9 and Hurley Elementary School on May 23.  For more information on the project call (575) 388-1198 or visit our website at https://www.facebook.com/neighborhoodorchard.

The Health Council is composed of 30 members appointed by the Grant County Board of Commissioners.  The Council is the designated Health and Wellness Planning Authority for the Grant County Board of Commissioners and supported by Gila Regional Medical Center.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 15:40

National spotlight shines on YSAPC Town Hall

Silver City, New Mexico, May 1, 2015: The Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (YSAPC) is basking in the national spotlight after being recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) for the innovative programs generated from community input received at a town hall held in 2014.
 
SAMSHA highlighted the YSAPC’s town hall as one of its national success stories for engaging youth and communities to discuss underage drinking and creating positive workable solutions.
 
YSAPC Coordinator, Razanna Robinson-Thomas said, “The town halls were a huge success and taught the Coalition and myself a lot about the community needs heard directly from the youth and adults. The input has encouraged and guided our efforts. Thank you Grant County for showing in large numbers at these meetings and revealing the true problems!”
 
The YSAPC received funding from SAMSHA for the initial town hall, held in June 2014, which has since spawned two follow-up events in Bayard and Silver City. The town halls were composed of entirely youth panelists whom shared their experiences and fielded community questions.  The town hall also initiated the idea of a youth council which is currently forming with representatives from all the County’s middle and high schools, dubbed the Youth Council of Grant County that will be launched this August. 
 
“I feel this was a step in the right direction in order to address the problems of our community,” said Cronn Chavez, a youth panelist at the first town hall and a Silver City native. “It’s important that we look to the source that knows the most about the issue...only my peers and I have the knowledge to say how substance abuse affects us in terms of public health because we experience it on a daily basis.”
 
The initial town hall focused on the high rate of binge drinking reported by Grant County students in the 2011 Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS).   The YRRS gauges the healthy and not-so-healthy behaviors of middle and high school students across the country.
 
About 33 percent of Grant County high school students reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, compared to New Mexico avenge of 22 percent. Binge drinking is consuming five or more alcoholic drinks at one time, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
Studies have found that youth binge drinking disrupts gene regulation and brain development. Binge drinking also puts youth at -risk for academic failure, physical and sexual assault, and alcoholism in later life.
 
The YSAPC is composed of 25 service providers and invested community members dedicated to creating an environment that cultivates healthy productive lifestyles through advocacy and policy change that promotes resilient and empowered youth.
 
To learn more about the YSAPC town hall success story visit: https://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/TownHallMeetings/successstories/tellyourstory.aspx?ID=43.
 
For more information on the YSAPC or any of its initiatives call (575) 388-1198 or visit their website at www.facebook.com/YSAPC.
 
The YSAPC is a program of the Grant County Community Health Council, the Health and Wellness Planning Authority of the Grant County Board of Commissioners, and is supported by Gila Regional Medical Center.  

Last Updated on Friday, 01 May 2015 15:45

Disabilities Resource Center opens doors

Mackie and Tracy at CenterSilver City, New Mexico, April 21, 2015: A crowd of over 80 people turned out Monday evening for the grand opening of the Disabilities Resource Center, located next to the Silver City Recreation Center at 1012 N. Silver St.
 
“Look at what we have today!” exclaimed Susie Trujillo, a founding member of the Grant County Disability Advisory Council.  “We started working two years ago on this project with the support of then Mayor James Marshall and Town Manager Alex Brown. With the support of Lon Streib and Silver Consolidated School District, we were able to secure the building and move it to Town property. Life Quest generously stepped up to the plate to assure the community has access to the building.”
 
The Center offers community space, an assistive technology lending library and a children’s toy library.  The Town of Silver City, Life Quest, Inc., Western New Mexico University, and the Grant County Disability Advisory Council partnered to make the Disabilities Resource Center a reality. Further support for equipment for the lending library with a $42,000 grant was received from the New Mexico Technology Assistance Program (NMTAP) of the Governor’s Commission on Disability.  Donations of materials and equipment were also received from the community.
 
 Vicki Galindo parent and Community advocate of The ARC of New Mexico - Grant County Chapter envisions the center as a hub for the community utilized for “parent support groups, social learning, group gatherings, educational trainings, mentoring, resources play groups, therapy.”
 
“It’s very exciting to be opening up an assistive technology lending library up in the rural southwest part of our state,” said Tracy Agiovlasitis, NMTAP Coordinator.  “It’s a great resource because people can borrow assistive technology before purchasing it to make certain it suits their needs.”  Agiovlasitis said that she will be returning soon for device demonstrations and trainings at the Center.   
 
WNMU Social Work Intern, Mackie Thoutt conducted an assessment to see the NMTAP lending library was stocked with equipment the community most needed. “I was most surprised that people wanted simple things, devices for communication and education.” 
 
During the grand opening individuals with disabilities inquired about wheelchairs, visual and audio aid devices and equipment such as handicap shower chairs.
 
Thelma Brusulas attended the grand opening and said, “This is an awesome idea!”  As an occupational therapist at Silver Consolidated School District, Brusulas will be referring students and their families to the Center’s library, and making use of the resources herself. “I love the switches,” Brusulas said.
 
For more information on the Disabilities Resource Center call (575) 388-1976.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 13:21

Bingo to benefit summer youth program

Silver City, New Mexico, April 14, 2015: Bingo is the name of the game for the Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (YSAPC).  Bingo cards are on sale now for the chance to win one of ten prizes on Friday, May 1, 2015, at 6 p.m. in the Community Built/Penny Park on Grant Street. All proceeds will benefit this summer’s youth program “101 Things For Youth To Do In Grant County”, which all Grant County youth can participate in for free.

The YSAPC is partnering with Gila Regional Medical Center Foundation to host the bingo benefit. GRMC Foundation Chair, Susan Summrall said, “Our youth are the future of our community. These summer activities will keep our youth involved in Grant County and help them grow into leaders in our community!”

Studies have shown that youth are far more likely to start using substances during the summer months than during other times of the year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). By offering summer programs like “101 Things,” the YSAPC hopes to buck that trend by establishing stronger connections between youth, the community and local businesses. Last year, over 50 local businesses partnered with the YSAPC to offer free youth-oriented activities at their establishments with the “101 Things” Program, and hundreds of youths turned out to participate.

YSAPC Coordinator, Razanna Robinson-Thomas says, “We are so excited to sell our Bingo cards. Purchase yours today before they sell out. Help us help our youth!"

Bingo cards are $5 each, and available from YSAPC members or by calling (575) 388-1198. The Bingo game will be held on Friday, May 1, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the Community Built/Penny Park on Grant Street.

The YSAPC is composed of 25 service providers and invested community members dedicated to creating an environment that cultivates healthy productive lifestyles through policy and advocacy change that promotes resilient and empowered youth.

For more information on the YSAPC or the benefit bingo game contact (575) 388-1198 or visit their website at www.facebook.com/YSAPC.

The YSAPC is a program of the Grant County Community Health Council, the Health and Wellness Planning Authority of the Grant County Board of Commissioners, and is supported by Gila Regional Medical Center.  

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 13:03

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