Prowers Youth Council Outlines Goals


Matt Biszak from Prowers County Public Health and Abigail Ross, Lamar High School junior, described the goals of the Prowers Youth Council for the Lamar City Council recently.

Biszak explained the organization, which operates in schools in Lamar, Wiley, Granada and Holly, is funded with state and federal dollars, administered by the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health under a five-year grant.

“Our main focus is on substance abuse prevention and working to promote positive youth development with community connectiveness and to develop strong protective factors among the youth in our communities.   These can help lower risk factors facing our local students,” he explained.  Buszak recapped some recent past projects including outdoor movies for the family, youth involvement at resource centers and fun projects such as the “Chalk the Walk”, where students offer their artwork around the community such as the segment of the Lamar Loop off 14th Street.

Ross said the organization offers a means by which student ideas can become working projects such as the Little Free Library project she organized for Willow Creek Park.  “The library looks like a small playhouse, but is actually a kind of lending library where you can take a book and in return, leave a book for the next reader.”  She said plans are underway for a second Lamar location as well as one in Granada and in Wiley.  “We’ve loaned out about 1,500 books so far and are also working with the Hope Center on their similar project,” she told council members.

The couple asked the council if it would consider waiving fees for the use of the pavilions at the city parks as well as room rental fees for the Lamar Community Building when guest speakers for the Youth Council are in town.  The council approved the request for 2021 and asked the representatives to return at the start of the second year of their grant cycle to discuss plans for 2022 and a means by which the city could offer a partnership in the council’s activities.

Biszak said the group would like to hold one large event each month, similar to the outdoor movies.  To date their facebook site has had 57,000 visits in the past year and in-person meetings are held every Friday at the County Annex from 1-3pm.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyEducationFeaturedRecreationSchoolThe ArtsYouth


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