Thoughtful Parenting: 1-stop shopping can make your life easier | SteamboatToday.com

Thoughtful Parenting: 1-stop shopping can make your life easier

Andy Dittgen/For the Steamboat Today

Parents always are looking for ways to help guarantee their children are set up for success. But if you're like countless other parents, you may not always have the time, especially when it comes to knowing and understanding all the programs and services that exist in our communities. That is why the Routt County Youth Services Coalition formed in 2009.

RCYSC is a network of youth advocates and service providers committed to enhancing the lives of youths and young adults in our community. One of the primary goals of the RCYSC is to provide greater public awareness of the importance and impact of youth advocates and service providers to the overall vitality of our communities. Imagine a single point of contact and a single website that helps you navigate the available resources in Routt County. RCYSC is dedicated to helping parents, guardians and families find what they need to help their child grow up to be successful.

How it works:

  • Visit http://www.youthinroutt.org to learn about a variety of organizations and programs the serve youths.
  • Search the directory of organizations and sort by services.
  • Check out the calendar for upcoming events and registration deadlines.

What you might find:

  • BookTrails: This organization aims to educate the public on the importance of reading and writing. BookTrails offers programming to local children to encourage a love of literacy through fun and innovative experiences, often held outdoors.
  • City of Steamboat Springs: The Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department offers a variety of programs for youths and teens, including sports leagues, summer camps, after-school programs, field trips, job training and more.
  • Individualized Service and Support Team: This program is a family-driven, strengths-based, solution-focused problem solving process to support the youths (ages 21 and younger) in Routt County. It is a multidisciplinary group of professionals who meet with youths and their families to assist them in identifying, finding and accessing resources and services.
  • Partners in Routt County: This mentoring organization’s One-to-One program matches adult volunteers (senior partners) with a youth in the community (junior partner), and the partnerships spend time together each week for a minimum of one year.
  • Integrated Community: This organization works to strengthen our community through building respectful relationships between immigrant and local neighbors. Integrated Community strives to create awareness of different cultures within our community and break down the linguistic and systematic barriers that prevent our clientele from accessing services and resources.

Next month, RCYSC also is hosting its second annual Parent Expo. RCYSC invites parents and guardians of K-12 students to attend the Parent Expo from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Steamboat Springs High School. There will be a broad representation of youth-serving organizations available for families to “shop around” for before and after school activities and a variety of youth and family services. Representatives from RCYSC member organizations will be present to help families determine the best fit for their child. There also will be prize drawings for fun family activities and potential scholarships to reduce the cost of enrollment in programs.

Andy Dittgen is the resource development coordinator for the Routt County Youth Services Coalition, a position made possible through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. For more information about the RCYSC, its member organizations or the Parent Expo, visit RCYSC’s website at http://www.youthinroutt.org and “like” the coalition on Facebook.

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