Fort McCoy News November 08, 2013

CYSS observes Character Counts!, Red Ribbon weeks

Fort McCoy youth spent the last two weeks of October celebrating Character Counts! Week and Red Ribbon Week.

Photo for Character Counts artcile
Youth in the Fort McCoy Child, Youth and School Services After-
School program observe a Hawaiian-themed clothing day to help
remind them to "Lei off" drugs. The youth participated in a number
of dress-up days as a fun way to say "NO" to drugs.
Contributed photo

Cori Yahnke, School Age/Teen Center program director, said a different activity was chosen for each day during the weeks for the Child, Youth and School Services (CYSS) After-School program to help the youth observe and learn more about the topics.

"We incorporate the Character Counts! Program into their program every day," Yahnke said. "The activities for the Character Counts! Program included a Pillar Pride day where youth wore a color that represented their favorite Character Counts! pillar."

The colors and their representation were red (caring hearts), blue (trustworthiness or being true blue), yellow (respect and following the Golden Rule), green (money/financial responsibility and the environment (social responsibility), purple (citizenship), and orange (fairness).

Youth also recorded their random acts of kindness on a caring hearts mural, participated in a character poster contest, posted daily character quotes to Facebook and participated in a character costume bash at McCoy's.

"Youth had to fill out a Pillar telling what their costume was and how it related to good character," Yahnke said. "If they came dressed up as Superman, for example, the youth could write that Superman shows good character by helping others in need."

Red Ribbon Week activities included dress-up days as fun ways to help youth say "NO" to drugs, Yahnke said.

Photo 2 for Character Counts article
Character Counts! activities helped youth in the Fort McCoy Child,
Youth and School Services show they supported the various pillars
of the program during a special week of activities at the
School Age/Youth Center.
Contributed photo

The Hawaiian-themed clothing day reminded youth to "Lei off" drugs. The next day youth wore their craziest socks to "sock it to drugs."

Wearing slippers helped the youth "give drugs the slip." The wearing of their favorite sport's team gear helped the youth "team up against drugs." Yahnke said the last day was to wear their craziest or favorite hat and red shirts to promote "hats off to drugs" and a wear red rally to show they are proud to be drug-free.

"Red Ribbon Week activities were dedicated to raising awareness of the drug and alcohol problem in our communities," Yahnke said. "The activities help teach our youth to be drug-free."

Youth in the CYSS After-School program participate in many activities and clubs, as well as socializing with others, Yahnke said.
Clubs and homework laboratory time, including computer use, also are available.

For more information about After-School Program activities, eligibility or fees, call the CYSS School Age/Teen Center at 608-388-4373.