KELSEY CREEK KICKERS
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
The Kelsey Creek Kickers program allows teens the opportunity to work around the City of Bellevue’s Kelsey Creek Farm. The farm houses large and small animals while being located in the middle of an urban setting. The program primarily attracts teen-aged girls, who often do not have many opportunities for after-school programs or activities. Ages range from 12 to 19 years. Monday through Friday, teens come to the farm and learn animal husbandry (cleaning, grooming and feeding) while answering questions from the general public. The Kickers program requires teens to accept a high level of responsibility for their own personal safety while simultaneously caretaking for animals.
2. When was the program created and why?
The Kelsey Creek Kickers program teaches young adult how to overcome challenges while building foundations that enable them to be better members of the community. The Kickers program provides volunteers with positive ways to learn job responsibilities and life long learning skills, such as communication, cooperation, leadership, conflict solving and self confidence. These resiliency skills are invaluable to teens, especially in handling violence and safety issues in their homes and at school. By understanding and learning positive solutions to problems rather using negative actions to solve crisis, teen can move away from violence and resolve conflicts in a constructive manner.
3. How do you measure the program’s effectiveness?
The Kickers program effectiveness is measured by participant levels and the number of work assignments and activities accomplished within the school year. The Kickers supports pony riding classes, (serving about 200 children), farm maintenance projects and attend classes taught at Washington State University. The program tour veterinary schools and facilities that promote the need for higher education. Kickers also volunteer time outside the farm program by organizing work parties to help with large projects as barn painting and trail maintenance. Participants, parents and the community are surveyed annually on the effectiveness of the program.
4. How is the program financed?
Kelsey Creek Kickers program is supported by the City of Bellevue, Parks & Community Services Department. Kickers also raise funds through crafts sales, pony rides and soliciting work for donations.
5. How is the community involved in the program?
Adults offer their experience and training as mentors. Professionals, from the veterinary and livestock training, teach the program regularly and share their expertise with the teens. The teens interact daily with the public that visit Kelsey Creek Farm. Participants develop speaking skills and communication techniques needed to communicate with all members of the community; from children attending farm classes to senior citizens out for a daily walk.
6. What are the major lessons learned from the program?
7. Contact person:
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.