barriers

Local teenagers are invited to join a day of unity to promote kindness, acceptance and positivity in our community on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. inside the Valley Oak Ballroom at the Wackford Complex.

Attendees will learn how to break down social barriers and overcome stereotypes through leadership activities, team-building exercises, and from the wisdom of guest speakers.  The free event will also include a continental breakfast and lunch. High school students can also earn community service hours for attending.

Teen Unity Day is organized by the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD)’s high school leadership program, the Teen Action Committee, which facilitates leadership activities, team-building exercises, and approves guest speakers.

Teen Services Recreation Coordinator Clyde Udasco explained that Teen Unity Day resulted from a Teen Forum that the Cosumnes CSD Parks and Recreation Department held in 2016. At the forum, he explained that teens asked for an event that would help kids break down stereotypes.

“Unity Day brings teens from different high schools together to break down barriers and learn from each other. Unity Day allows teens to identify and confront stereotypes and express their frustrations and struggles with other teens facing similar challenges. It’s an opportunity for teens to engage in positive relationships in the community,” Udasco explained.  

Asked if he feels there is more need for unity among teens, Udasco said, yes.

“Teens crave social interaction outside of school through activities, events and social outings, but there are not many social venues for teens in Elk Grove. They need an outlet to voice their opinions and unite in a positive environment. Providing youth clubs or committees where teens can work together is vital. Teens can be a driving force to promote positive change within the community when provided with the opportunity and resources,” he said.

To help reach out to teens for this event,  Udasco said Teen Action Committee members have posted fliers at their respective schools and are encouraged to speak during morning announcements and make presentations to school clubs and leadership committees. TAC members also spend a weekend canvassing local businesses to promote interest. The CSD Teen Program posts on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to encourage participation, he added.

“We hope teens connect and feel a sense of community. We want teens to know that they are not alone in their struggles. We want to provide an outlet for teens to express their opinions. We want teens to create positive relationships and build leadership skills to help them get through different times,” Udasco said.

While this event is free of charge, teens need to register in advance at www.YourCSD.com/tac.