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Group's second meeting reviews and expands on results, looks toward its next step

Canby's Youth Summit met for a second time on May 22. While there were fewer people attending this meeting, it didn't hamper the progress made during the two activities the people at the five tables worked through.

Steve Nelson opened with an explanation of the student survey results. The student surveyed ranged in age from 8 to 18. Their answers were divided into three groups: strengths, needing greater attention, and results not currently offered.

Most of those surveyed in middle and high school classes were students taking leadership classes. During the activities portion of the meeting, many expressed the thought that other students should have been surveyed as well.

According to the results, students feel their schools have dedicated and helpful teachers and provide usable tools such as iPads, books and programs.

They see activities, noting the library, swim center, sports, dance, music, organized youth activities, walking trails, parks, the Fairgrounds and the river are available.

Under culture, they called Canby a safe and friendly place with helping hands that promote teamwork.

CAROL ROSEN - Canby Kiwanis President Tony Crawford (middle) asks questions during work at another table.

But there are things that need greater attention at school, such as better food. They also said that play structures are breaking and would like to see more life-skills classes. One thing that's also lagging is tutoring, according to the survey, said Nelson.

At that point, Canby School District Superintendent Trip Goodall noted the high school has free, full-time tutors in math, science and English language for the past five years.

The mdidle school has tutors available for 45 minutes to an hour after school, said Ray Keen, director of The Canby Center.

Library Director Irene Green said there also are tutors at the library but they are expensive.

The students hope to see more gym use availability, internships or more part-time work opportunities, transportation options and more activities available.

As for the cultural end, the students seek to have more counseling for suicide prevention and mental health, better communication, especially to find out what's going on in the city and community support.

Finally the survey indicated what isn't currently offered. In school they would like more skills classes for construction, small engine repair and taxes for several examples. They want more activities, specifically a community center to hang out after school or on weekends, Boys and Girls Clubs and an art center. In the realm of culture they are seeking a place to hang out after school, more car pools, kid-friendly jobs and community service opportunities.

At least seven or eight Kiwanis members interviewed the students. These included Marilyn Wood, Luana Hill, Mike Zagyva, Tony Crawford, Betty Crawford and several others.

Zagyva and several others who surveyed, noted the students were excited to work with them, they were polite, courteous, positive and asked and answered questions with thought. He noted that most of the students were prepped ahead of being surveyed.

"I was pleased with their answers. Their responses were great," Zagyva told those attending. "The high school leadership classes were positive and intuitive. They were excited and wanted to be part of it."

At that point, those attending took on a group activity, taking the survey data and each table looking at how to find goals and solutions for additional information. Among the solutions that were most popular were kiosks around town announcing information about activities, library programs and so forth. Also considered were free rides to activities on Canby Area Transit, a community center, things to offer kids that don't participate in sports activities, activities youth can implement and keeping the youth informed of Canby area activities.

A later activity among the adults concerned what the Youth Coalition needed to do now and in the future. Items such as structure, number of meetings, potential new surveys like one for teachers and level of commitment.

Tony Crawford, Canby Kiwanis president and founder of the coalition, told the Herald he was disappointed in the turnout, which was about a half to two thirds the size of the first meeting. He wondered aloud if the January to May schedule was too long to keep the momentum going.

"We're moving from an abstract concept to a concrete example or a functional model," Crawford said.

What are the next steps?

"There's a lot here to figure out as well as where we are going compared with last January," said Mayor Brian Hodson. "There's lots of things here to dial in and move forward. What is our goal, what do we want to accomplish while engaging with the community and with each other? Canby is no longer a sleepy little city. I'm excited about what we can accomplish building on the library, schools, a community center and what financial support do we have," he asked.

"I'm invested and think this is a great opportunity for Canby and for Canby kids," Hodson said.

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