Teens Acting Against Violence (TAAV) has returned from yet another very successful Outward Bound trip this year! Outward Bound is an outdoor education program where professional staff guide wilderness expeditions designed at fostering personal growth, leadership, and teamwork.
This year’s Outward Bound trip consisted of white-water rafting on the San Juan River in Utah. Six TAAV youth along with two chaperones embarked on a 5 day trip along the river. The teens learned different paddle strokes and how to coordinate and maneuver their raft, how to handle serious rapids, along with basic camping and survival skills.
After Outward Bound the group spent two days in Denver which consisted of going out to eat, visiting a water park, seeing movies, and of course plenty of shopping! Over all the trip was a huge success and could not have been possible without the help and generosity of all those who made donations and gifted us miles. Quyana!
TWC and TAAV hosted its second annual Teens Lead Ahead camp this summer from June 7th-10th. Nearly 50 teens gathered from Bethel and the returning villages of Kwethluk, Kipnuk, and Napaskiak along with teens from Kotlik for 4 days and 3 nights of leadership and prevention activities. The theme of this year’s camp was focused around respect- “Respect for ourselves, others, elder’s, and the environment.” The teens spent one night at the Catholic Church, one night at the ONC fish camp, and one night at TWC. Highlights of the camp included presentations and stories by storyteller Gene Tagaban, an elder discussion, subsistence activities at fish camp, a scavenger hunt, and several performances from the Yup’ik musical group Pamyua! On the last night Vicky Nechodomu of LKSD guided the youth in creating their own digital stories based on their own experience of the camp (check out their final products!). Teens Lead Ahead was a tremendous success this year and couldn’t have been possible without the help and generosity of our partners- ONC, AVCP, YKHC, ANDVSA, LKSD, the Catholic Church, Public Health Nursing and of course all of the chaperones, volunteers, and TWC staff who donated their time and energy into making Teens Lead Ahead such a success!
Eileen teaches a Kindergarten class about safe touches.
As the school year approaches, the Tundra Women’s Coalition (TWC) is again offering its services to schools throughout the delta. These include Talking About Touching, a personal safety/child sexual abuse prevention curriculum for younger children, Steps to Respect, an anti-bullying program for upper elementary and middle-school children, and presentations on non-violence and healthy relationships for high school students.
The overall goal of Talking About Touching is to help young people recognize and identify the differences between safe and unsafe touch and to teach them the basic safety rules about touching. It encourages open communication with one’s family and emphasizes family safety rules. Children are taught many different kinds of safety rules to protect themselves. Personal body safety is just one more lesson to teach along with fire safety, snow machine safety, and bike safety. While our village presentations are condensed due to time constraints, this is still quite an effective curriculum and it will help children learn to protect themselves and prevent sexual abuse.
The Steps to Respect Program is designed by the same company as Talking About Touching, and focuses on bullying prevention through education and assertiveness. This program allows children to recognize and address the phenomenon of bullying that occurs in schools and affects many children. Children will learn to work with each other and with school officials to take steps needed to prevent bullying and use good conflict resolution skills when bullying does occur.
Additionally, the Youth Services Program can provide a healthy relationship presentation for junior high and high school students. The goal of the healthy relationship presentation is to provide information on preventing interpersonal violence and sexual assault between intimate teen couples as well as among peers. The presentation will be facilitated by TWC’s teen advocate and at least one peer leader from the Teens Acting Against Violence (T.A.A.V). youth program.
If you have any questions about these or other services that TWC offers to delta schools, or wish to schedule a time for TWC to visit and work with your schools and communities, please contact me at 543-3444 or Eileen_Arnold@twcpeace.org. In the 2011-2012 school year TWC visited eight schools in the Yukon-Kuskokwim area including Napaskiak, Atmauthluak, Kaskigluk, Mountain Village, Chevak, Nightmute, Alakanuk, and Kotlik.
On March 29, 2012, Bethel community members participated in the statewide Choose Respect event. The diverse crowd gathered at noon in front of the TWC building to begin the march to the Kuskokwim Campus, where participants enjoyed a delicious potluck afterwards. Special guests included Commissioner William Streur of the Department of Health and Social Services, Michael Hoffman, AVCP Vice President, Raymond Watson, AVCP Board Chairman and ONC Chairman, Mary Pete, KuC Director, and Elder Esther Green of Bethel.
The photos below also include the Kipnuk community march for Choose Respect.
The Choose Respect event challenges Alaskans to step up and take a stand against domestic violence and sexual assault in the state. Bethel’s Choose Respect event is sponsored by TWC, KuC, AVCP, and ONC.
Tundra Women’s Coalition Yukeqtaaq 2012 Person of the Year is Winifred Beans
The award will be presented to the honoree at the 11th Annual Yukegtaaraat Celebration in Bethel.
This dinner, silent auction and awards ceremony will be held at the Cultural Center
on Saturday, March 31 at 6pm. Doors will be open at 5:30pm.
To attend the event, please purchase tickets at TWC 248 6th Avenue, Bethel AK 99559 Tickets are $30 per person or $45 includes TWC membership
For more information, please call our office at 907-543-3444
TWC staff will be at the Cultural Center this Saturday for the Health Fair from 9AM to 1PM. All are welcome to come by our table to learn more about our programs and resources, take brochures and business cards, or pick up pins, stickers, and magnets to show your support for TWC!
Event: 3rd Annual Health Fair
Date: Saturday, February 25, 2012
Location: Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center
Thank you to those who selected TWC during the 2011 PFD filing process! The funds donated are allocated for youth and shelter needs. Don’t forget to file for your 2012 dividend and please consider TWC when you Pick.Click.Give.
For more information about Pick.Click.Give., check out the project’s website at www.pickclickgive.org or click on the logo.
Pick.Click.Give is making an extremely positive impact on Tundra Women’s Coalition. Several weeks ago, TWC received a check for $8,900 in funds donated by Alaskans through their permanent fund dividends – the highest amount TWC has received since Pick.Click.Give began in 2009.
“I am so humbled by what Alaskans have pledged for TWC, and I can only thank folks and hope that for the sake of our program needs, that this level of support continues,” said Michelle DeWitt, TWC’s Executive Director. “This year’s Pick.Click.Give. program highlighted once again that people believe in our mission and efforts to both address and prevent family and sexual violence. For me, seeing more than 132 people who selected TWC as an organization to donate to this past year is valuable, regardless of how large or small the amount they were able to afford.”
DeWitt said TWC will use the 2011 contributions to support shelter needs and youth programs. “We are serving more people than in the past, yet our funds for items like laundry detergent, food or household supplies have stayed essentially the same or been reduced over the years,” said DeWitt. “We also offer many opportunities to program participants both in the shelter and outside the shelter, such as with our teen and children’s programs, that are not supported by grants or other revenue – so this gives us a resource for all these efforts you see us conducting in Bethel and the region,” said DeWitt.
Pick.Click.Give. is a charitable contribution program that recipients of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend can use to support organizations they care about in the state.
The Pick.Click.Give. campaign is already underway for 2012. The ability to donate is available to people at the time they apply for their PFD. The minimum donation is $25.
TWC’s Alfred Michael, Marci Amik, and Debbie Michael are one of many staffers who tabled a Domestic Violence Awareness information stand at the local hospital all this week, October 3 – 7. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Please mark your calendar and join TWC for the upcoming events:
Wednesday, October 12 at Noon: Annual Peacewalk & Potluck. Cultural Center to TWC with soup and sandwiches
Friday, October 14 at 7PM: Drumming and Dance Groups at ONC Multipurpose Building
Tuesday, October 25 at 7pm: Candlelight Ceremony Honoring Victims and Witnesses at TWC
Wednesday, October 26 at 11AM: Listen to TWC’s Peacetalk Radio Show on KYUK
TWC hosted the first annual Teens Lead Ahead 2011 youth camp June 16-19. 30 teens from Kipnuk, Kwethluk and Napaskiak joined Bethel Teens Acting Against Violence members for 2 full days and three nights of leadership and prevention activities. This camp was a tremendous success- check out the digital story! The entire gathering was planned by teens in TAAV using the planning model of the statewide Lead On! violence prevention/leadership conference, which many of the TAAV have attended and helped plan in recent years. During the camp, youth spent one night at BABS, the second night at fish camp and the third night was a sleepover night at TWC. Katie (Baldwin) Basile and Alfred Wallace provided instruction and technical assistance on digital storytelling, there were elder talks, storyteller Gene Tagaban (who is originally from Southeast Alaska) shared performances and stories with the group at fish camp, TAAV provided a healthy relationships talk, there were suicide prevention talks, and other activities and speakers. We are excited to build on this model in future years as a youth violence prevention and leadership strategy. Community partners through the Elluatmun Partnership were critical for the positive outcomes of this camp (AVCP, ONC, YKHC, LKSD, etc.) and we thank everyone from these organizations who helped as well as the chaperones and other helping adults from the villages and Bethel. Quyana!