Who knows what great accomplishments lie ahead for children growing up on reservations of the Southwest? To help ensure that each and every one is able to realize his or her potential, the SWIRC Program provides a broad range of support for young people in these isolated and resource-poor areas.
SWIRC services touch children of all ages and in every area of their lives, providing a helping hand to youth organizations and infant and baby programs. Along with Program Partners, SWIRC services help support strong parent-child relationships, teach children about the benefits of good personal hygiene, educate them about health and exercise, and provide other supplies as needed.
|SWIRC services touch children of all ages and in every area of their lives. |
Because they are so remote, many reservations offer little or no programming or activities for young people. When such programs exist, their budgets are typically inadequate to provide food and activities for all the youth in their communities. SWIRC Youth services support the work of programs such as Boys and Girls clubs by donating to them healthy snacks and other food.
SWIRC’s Youth services provide support for Women Infants and Children (WIC) and Healthy Start programs. These programs offer parenting, nutrition, and life skills classes for their clients, as well as referrals and resources if parents or their children encounter problems. We also help to provide supplies such as formula and diapers.
The SWIRC Program provides incentives goods — such as socks, books, diapers, toys, personal care items, household products —that WIC and Healthy Start programs use to encourage parent volunteerism and participation. In these programs, parents ‘earn’ points or coupons by attending meetings, volunteering their time in their child’s classroom, or helping with related activities. Parents then redeem their points in a volunteer ‘store’ for the incentive items.
Organizations that participate in this program note a dramatic increase in how often parents volunteer. Many parents become more involved in their children’s school discovering they enjoy volunteering a great deal.
Incentive programs like these, supported by the SWIRC Program and working with Program Partners, help build parents’ self-esteem, ensure that families get supplies they need but cannot otherwise afford, and encourage parents to make that extra effort to reach the program site and volunteering their time.
|Education, health, strong parent-school partnerships ... The SWIRC Program brings |
a broad range of much needed services to communities.
In the same way, SWIRC provides incentives to support Baby Face and FACE programs. These programs focus on promoting strong parent-child relationships by increasing parents’ confidence in their ability to give their children the best possible start in life. Baby Face and FACE programs educate parents about child development and how to stimulate learning. These programs encourage true partnership between parents and schools and have the potential of detecting early learning problems with children.
Poverty affects the vast majority of families on reservations, and unfortunately, children are among the most vulnerable to its effects. Many parents are unable to find employment or must travel off of the reservation to find work. Often children do not have access to adequate healthy food, clothing and shoes that fit properly, and products for personal hygiene. Under the umbrella of its youth services, the SWIRC Program helps community Program Partners to deliver hygiene and health education to children. We also provide personal care items such as feminine supplies, shampoo, soap, combs and brushes which the programs use as incentives.