KeepHealthCare.ORG – Hispanic child development program highlighted | News
Gabriel Cortez, director of Hispanic Education Initiative, “Raising Highly Capable Kids, spoke to the Care Leadership Network at its monthly meeting on Thursday at First Baptist Church Belton.
Cortez talked about the program that uses assets that a child needs to grow up to be caring, healthy and responsible.
Schools had requested that a program be developed that engages parents of its students, Cortez said.
The program centers around 40 developmental assets that fall into eight categories — support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social competence and positive identity.
In addition to empowering children, parents increase their knowledge and skill level of the eight asset categories and parents learn that modeling behavior for their children makes a difference.
The program, which includes practical and hands on study, is broken down over 13 weeks.
The number of assets a child has can be used to predict if a child will have problems in the future with alcohol, will be violent or use illegal drugs, Cortez said.
The assets range from family support, caring school climate, given chance to serve community, family has rules and monitors youth whereabouts, creative activities, does homework, reading for pleasure, has integrity, can resist negative peer pressure and high self esteem.
If a young person has zero to 10 assets there is a 45 percent chance they will abuse alcohol. If the child has zero to 10 assets there is 62 percent chance they will be violent. If they have 31 or more assets, the chance of them being violent drops to 6 percent. Those with zero to 10 assets have a 38 percent chance of abusing drugs. Those with 31 or more assets, the chance of drug abuse drops to 1 percent.
Depending on their needs, schools are not resistant to opening their doors for the program, Cortez said.
“At the end of the program there is always a graduation ceremony,” he said. “Many of the adult participants have never graduated from anything.”
The parents who complete the program are impacting their family for generations, Cortez said.
Gil Hollie with the Ace Program at Temple Independent School District reported that the Safe Place Summer Camp is being held at Meridith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy and the youngsters are learning about health living, health cooking, dental hygiene, social skills and more.
“This is second summer for the camp and it’s held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” Hollie said.
Temple Bible Church will have its basketball camp 11a.m. to 2 p.m. July 25-27.
Steve Cannon of JAIL Ministries reported that in addition to food, the Feed My Sheep ministry is experiencing heavy use of its shower and laundry facilities.
Judy Morales talked about the interest in Community First by individuals in the Bell County area.
Body of Christ Clinic in Belton is in need of a Spanish interpreter.
“I’ve had a request for a wide wheelchair,” Donna Dunn, executive director of Body of Christ Clinic.