Volunteering at the AAYC by Ada Sanchez

My time volunteering at the AAYC,  by Ada Sanchez  March 7, 2016

ada sanchez

The Amarillo Activity Youth Center (AAYC) is a 501c3 non-profit that opened April 11, 2007. It is located at 816 S Van Buren, Amarillo, TX 79101.  The organization is investing their time to helping make sure the youth receive all the resources and programs to stay safe and off the streets.  The AAYC is not just for the youth there are programs for adults as well for instance; Zumba, juggling, self-defense and many others. All the staff are volunteers, no one is paid. Al proceeds go to the children to get more programs going and keeping them off the streets.  Volunteers during the month of October get together and display the famous haunted house, Van Buren Frightmare.

Many organizations focus on either having enough money or not having enough people helping but the AAYC’s primary problem is not getting the word out there about what all they do. Having kids and adults to help build together to make this organization even more great, for instance in June they will have a car show called Kars4kids and all the proceeds will go to the community center.

My time spent there was amazing.  The staff made me feel welcomed and it is an inviting atmosphere.  Saw the children be themselves and having fun, running around playing and interacting with each other brought a warm smile to my heart.  It makes me want to spread the word about this organization so that all families know that there is a place here in Amarillo that is family friendly and inviting to anyone.  There are so many activities to do and it is not expensive at all, the max is $3 but   that is a donation.  I saw teenagers interacting and playing with the younger children. This organization is not just run by adults there is a younger staff helping out and they have so many ideas to help improve their facility and Amarillo as well.

“Piaget believed that children’s moral judgements build on their cognitive development” (Myers, 2014 pg. 142). The AAYC organization is focused on the children, it helps them to understand that this is a place where they can go and feel safe and be able to grow in their development.  By seeing and experiencing a good environment it will make their little minds hake good moral judgements. “One way we learn is by association: (Myers, 2014 pg 238) Everyone learns by example of other people. Children are easily influenced either it is good or bad, but the AAYC is a good place to see that there are good things to experience.  By having volunteers who are willing to give their time up to help other children/adults and paving programs to help benefit both is a wonderful community enter.

I believe I will continue volunteering, it was a different experience that made me realize that I can Make a difference even if it is something small. I would like to see how much more this organization can expand in helping children and this community.  Matt Hite and his fellow volunteers have done a wonderful job providing for this establishment and I would like to see it grow even more.  Mabey from me staying and helping out I can use my ideas to make a new program or just by getting more people involved so that no child has to roam the streets and that they can be in a place where they know they are safe and cared for.

By Ada Sanchez

PSYC-2301-003

General Psychology

March 7, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parents: Do you know what your children are into this summer?

Parents: Do you know what your children are into this summer?

By Matthew Hite Amarillo, Texas

YIPPEE it’s summer time, kids are out and about, staying up late, sleeping in… Some organized activies but LOT and LOT of free time…  WAIT!  Parents this is a fun time for your kids but please be vigilant with what your kids are doing and where they are going.

Sometimes kids go and stay at their friends houses for a day or two or hang out all day places.  Do you know where they are, exactly, and what they are doing?  If they are staying at a friends or neighbors, cousins, schoolmates, etc; Do you know who else is there and what type activities go on there?

This is a breeding ground for lots of activities that you may NOT want your kiddos involved in or it could be a great safe and enjoyable experience for your kiddos.  How do you know?

Did you know that Childcare’s are required to screen visitors and keep your kids safe but they are also required to allow parent to watch, visit, and see exactly what goes on in the childcare.  Even with this policy bad things happen in childcares everyday.  It would be GREAT if these same policies were in place everywhere our children go, but that’s not the case.  If your kiddos are going somewhere and you don’t have access to them or can’t check on them…… Something is WRONG!

Here is a quick check-list of things you can do to make sure your kiddos are safe AND not into anything you don’t want them to be in.

  1. Keep in touch, Cell phones are a great thing
  2. Be honest and open with your kids about expectations while they are away from the house.
  3. Know and talk with the parents, adults and people that are around your kiddos
  4. An unannounced drop by to check on your kiddos is a GREAT idea, anytime.
  5. Check your kiddos social media and internet and see what they are posting and who they are with
  6. If you are uncomfortable with a situation just tell your kiddo(s) “NO” but be real with them and tell them why.
  7. Talk with your kiddo(s) make sure they know how to keep there body safe AND to get away if they become uncomfortable for any reason.
  8. Let your kiddo(s) know that you are there fro them and even if they are embarrassed or uncomfortable;  they can trust you to be there for them, no matter what and that they can tell you anything, anytime!  Open honest dialog.
  9. Be part of your kiddos life, do things with them and there friends.  Take interest in them and their activities!

Please use this check-list when they go to friends houses, go to a camp, enroll in a program or spend a lot of time anywhere.

It’s important with all the drugs going around that your children know the boundaries you have set for them and that YOU help them keep those boundaries and help them stay safe and secure.  There are many predators out there as well; know whom your kiddos are around and what influences those people have on them and what they are doing.

DO THINGS with your KIDDO

Did you know that enrolling in a class, program or activity with your child is a great way to get to know them and learn with them?  You get to see their friends and interactions with others and become a more in-depth part of their life.  Your kiddo will learn that we all learn, even as parents and its ok not to be in control all the time.

It is important to note that some kiddos get embarrassed when their parents are directly involved.  Sometimes your kiddos need to be away to grow more independent and to learn on there own.  As a parent you  can’t shelter your kiddos and be there every second of everyday.

OPEN DOOR POLICY

The AAYC has an open door policy, we invite you to come to any of our programs with your kid(s). Join the program and participate if you’ like.  The more adults and parent we have the better.  All our programs are designed so that the kiddos can go independently or with an older family member.

SCREENING

The AAYC also screens all our volunteers and staff to make sure they are safe and our administrative team is always watching the classes, programs, activities, other adults, parents and even kids because we want YOUR children to be safe.  Make sure the places your kiddos go are safe for your kids.

AAYC Child Safety Initiative

AAYC Child Safety Initiative Take a stand with us against Child Abuse

The AAYC Child Safety Initiative is one way WE work with our community, families and law enforcement agencies to keep your kids, our kids safe as we help develop them into future leaders of Amarillo.

Our goal is to help inform parents, please free free to copy and post this information. If you’d like to publish in pleae contact Matt.hite@amarilloyouth.net for permission.

2014 Karing4Kids; child Abuse Prevention Event

April 5, 2014

AAYC’s First annual Child Abuse prevention event, a part of the AAYC Child Safety Initiative.

The 1st Annual AAYC Karing4 Kids Child Abuse Prevention Event April 5, 2015 photo by Matt Hite

The 1st Annual AAYC Karing4 Kids Child Abuse Prevention Event April 5, 2015

Amarillo Globe News Article:

http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2014-04-05/youth-center-fights-child-abuse

Nearly 200 came out to support Amarillo Activity Youth Center as it participated in the national March Against Child Abuse on Saturday.

Participants of all ages, including some students from the AAYC, marched several blocks in downtown Amarillo holding handmade signs with anti-child abuse messages.

The AAYC offers many classes for Amarillo youth, including fencing, community service and basketball, and many of the students came out to support the event.

“Our kids made the signs,” said Matt Hite, AAYC executive director.

Although the march had been done before, this was the first time AAYC hosted an event to coincide with the march at its facility at 816 South Van Buren St.

Speakers from the community came out to share personal stories and offer their talents.

Some of the speakers included Tommy the Hacker of Kiss FM, DJ Karaoke Joe, the New Life Church youth band and a guest speaker from CASA.

“We wanted to make it fun,” said Vee Montanez, event coordinator.

Montanez said she helped plan the walk last year, but an event like the one held Saturday had never been done before. She asked friends in the area to participate in hopes of bringing people together and making the event more fun.

The event offered many activities, but the focus was on the prevention of child abuse.

AAYC's Karing4kids, 2013

AAYC’s 1st annual Child Abuse Prevention Event in Amarillo, Texas

“A lot of times the abuse goes unpunished,” said Andria Keelin, event co-coordinator.

Keelin said the event’s purpose was to raise awareness about just how many children are abused.

Youtube Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmxjyyfu2fg

Facebook Pictures

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.682582065142784.1073741842.132243203510009&type=3