2016-2017 National Youth Activities Ambassador
Six Educational and Service Opportunities in February
February is almost here and there are numerous opportunities for youth during this month:
Black History Month/African American History Month
- Black History Month/African American History Month is a time to remember important people and events in African American History. Educational resources are available online here: http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/teachers.html
- Many schools will participate in Jump Rope for Heart Partner with a school in your area that is hosting one of these events, or contact the American Heart Association – Jump Rope for Heart to see if you can sponsor an event in your community if your local schools are not participating. If you are unable to host an event, encourage your Auxiliary to sponsor local youth who are participating.
National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
- According to loveisrespect, one in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. This is an excellent opportunity to spread awareness about dating violence with older youth. Resources are available here: http://www.loveisrespect.org/resources/teendvmonth/.
February 14: Valentine’s Day
- Youth are encouraged to participate in Hospitalized Veterans Week, February 12-19, 2017. Youth can create valentines and/or tray favors; packaged valentines may also be purchased. Youth, parents and Auxiliary members can deliver these on or near the holiday (check with your local facility to see what they prefer).
- Youth could deliver valentines and treats to local veterans and their families. While there, maybe snow will need to be shoveled or there may be other minor chores that youth can assist with.
- Youth can help decorate for your Post/Auxiliary Sweetheart Dinner/Dance. Perhaps they could serve meals or coffee and desserts.
- Youth could even have their own Valentine’s party (with adult direction).
February 20: President’s Day
- What a great day to share the story of America’s leaders! Purchase a supply of President rulers from the VFW Store and share them with schools, daycare centers, etc., You could hand them out to youth during a you are having a “Buddy”® Poppy distribution as well.
February 28: Fat Tuesday
- Host a Mardi Gras party at a local nursing home, VA hospital or community center. Celebrate the day before Lenten season begins with colorful beads, masks, zydeco music and all things New Orleans. Serve “King Cookies” (sugar cookies with yellow, purple and green sugar sprinkles) and Mardi Gras punch (non-alcoholic). Recipe at: http://www.food.com/recipe/hurricane-punch-non-alcoholic-215584
February is a great time to start gathering the information you will need for the upcoming year-end reports your Departments may require. Make sure you have submitted a request for a Youth Groups Supporting Our Veterans Citation to your Department Chairman. Download the citation request form here: https://vfwauxiliary.org/wp-content/uploads/2016-2017-Youth-Groups-Supporting-Our-Veterans-FILLABLE.pdf
I am happy with reports I have received from Department Chairmen. It’s awesome to read how Auxiliary members are making a difference in the lives of youth across America!