Helping Park and Recreation Departments Expand Youth Development Programming

Helping Park and Recreation Departments Expand Youth Development Programs

As a park and recreation professional, you know the youth in your community engage with your facility and programming for one purpose: to have fun! As a leader in your community, you want programs that help youth develop the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to transition into adulthood. Finding programs that develop life skills that are also interesting and engaging doesn’t have to be as challenging as what Leslie Knope faced filling “the pit.”

Programming by Safe Sitter® will help you reach students in grades 4-8, an age group that is often missed in youth development programming. Young teens are a valuable resource that can make meaningful and important contributions to your community. Investing in programs that equip them to learn practical skills will help them transition more successfully into adulthood.

Young teens have a basic need to feel safe, and they want to learn skills that allow them to function in their daily lives. Safe@Home, a 90-minute program for students in grades 4-6, teaches students how to practice safe habits, how to prevent unsafe situations, and what to do when faced with dangers such as power failures or weather emergencies. Students are also introduced to the Safe Sitter® First Aid Chart and learn a system to help them assess and respond to injuries and illnesses.

As young teens in your community move into middle school, they are often asked to care for younger siblings for short periods of time. These childcare responsibilities often foster a desire to begin babysitting for family friends. Safe Sitter® Essentials is a one-day course where students learn the skills they need to safely care for younger children.

  • Safety Skills: Students learn how to prevent unsafe situations and what to do when faced with dangers such as power failures or weather emergencies.
  • Child Care Skills: Students learn tips to manage behavior that will help them stay in control of themselves and the children in their care. Students also learn the ages and stages of child development, as well as practice diapering.
  • First Aid & Rescue Skills: Using CPR manikins, students observe and demonstrate choking rescue for infants and children. Students also learn a system to help them assess and respond to injuries and illnesses. (Instructors have an option to include a CPR module as well.)
  • Life & Business Skills: The ability to screen jobs, discuss fees, and greet employers will set students up for success now and in the future. Students practice these skills through various role plays.

First created by a board-certified pediatrician, Safe Sitter® Essentials is age and developmentally appropriate for middle school students. Learning and practicing skills such as diapering and choking rescue is often students’ favorite part of the class. Most students have only seen adults complete these skills, and students are eager and engaged to master these skills.

All programs developed by Safe Sitter® are designed to be highly interactive. The guided discussion with planned questions outlined in the Instructor Manual make it easy for Instructors to keep students engaged. Role-plays, games, and matching activities all reinforce important class concepts and allow you to create an element of play in a learning environment.

To learn more about partnering with Safe Sitter® to teach young teens the skills they need to stay home alone safely, watch younger siblings, or start babysitting, click here!

Amanda Christian

Amanda Christian

Director of External Relations at Safe Sitter, Inc.
Amanda first discovered a desire for nonprofit marketing while in college. She has been with Safe Sitter® since 2013 and enjoys the broad range of responsibilities her position allows. Her blended family of six children and two dogs turns most ordinary tasks into an adventure.
Amanda Christian