Friday, March 23, 2012

April Showers Bring Many Opportunities

As spring approaches and DC receives its few months of bearable weather before an always to be expected thick and swampy humid summer, the cherry blossoms begin to bloom and DC becomes a hub for international tourism.

Besides the enormous influx of tourist making metro rush hour even more difficult, spring is a time for the 2013 FY budget season. And amongst the testimonies and hearings it becomes incredibly easy to overlook the vast amount of resources the District has to offer during the spring. And while it’s important to be an active member of local politics, it’s equally important that one takes a step back to examine and appreciate the novelties that make the District what it is.

The season offers opportunities for the District’s youth to engage and participate in many constructive activities; many of these being free! Over the next few months, the District will offer a variety of events ranging from the Cherry Blossom Festival to the DC Jazz festival. Many of the events focus on a cultural or historical aspect of DC and many use these features to demonstrate DC’s relationship to the rest of the world. You can find a list of the upcoming events at:

In addition, the One City Summer team has worked diligently throughout the Winter to coordinate a variety of camps, summer employment opportunities and special events designed to keep children and youth engaged, excited, healthy and safe. As part of this the District will be re-launching a new and improved One City Summer Website to share events and opportunities in real time (and yes, CBOs will be able to post and highlight what they’re doing too). At the same time youth working with DC Library will be releasing the youth friendly version- to make sure that young people have a way to stay connected and hear about the events that will interest them. at the end of this month.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the launch of these websites, but in the meantime, you can find more information about summer activities and programs by checking out the Department of Parks and Recreations spring-summer schedule of youth events.

DCAYA is also in the process of organizing a youth advocacy day dedicated to positive youth development. Youth Advocacy Day will offer the district’s young people an opportunity to learn about the legislative process in the District, tour the Wilson Building, and connect with their elected officials. The specifics for the event are still being determined but it will take place on Aril 27th at time that does not conflict with the DC school schedule.

It will be interesting to see how the 2013 FY budget compares with the current budget and as someone who is new to the advocacy world, I hope its better. It’s obvious that although the upcoming spring events won’t begin to touch the deficit of positive youth development programs in the District, they do offer something. And in a city that is all too familiar with doing very much with very little, the upcoming spring offers another opportunity to do so.

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