Valley Guardians Event: Revitalizing the Youth through Field Day Activities


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Valley Guardians Event: Revitalizing the Youth through Field Day Activities

By: Hailey Wesloski

The average American child spends about six to eight hours on electronics and staring at screens every day (Outward Bound)! Those same students only spend around seven minutes outside every day. Students spend less than ten minutes outside every day but they spend upwards of five plus hours on screens. Children are less social than ever due to the dropping rate of outdoor play and climbing screen time. As schools are turning to less outdoor activities and computer based work, students are getting on social media younger, and technology is taking over everyones lives. Most underserved students like to be involved but don’t know how or don’t have an avenue to do it.

On January 27th The Valley Guardians Executive Leadership scholars took a break from their computers and their busy schedules to go outside and enjoy each others company.  There were 22 students who attended the event and participated in volleyball, basketball, frisbee golf, javelin toss, and other fun field day activities. Most of the students were more active than they have been in the entire year! The games were all designed to help them to interact with others while exercising their bodies for the health benefits. These activities help to build lasting friendships with their peers and get them out of their shells! Students were served carne asada, rice, beans, and various fruits, vegetables and treats to eat. This can be a highlight for students that don’t get healthy meals at home due to family work schedules.

Students commented on how nice it was to get fresh air and take a step back from all the academic stress and pressures at school. It gave them a place to revitalize and energize the efforts at school. Most people don’t understand the amount of expectations that are put on the students of this generation. The students need a place to get outside, exercise, socialize, and revitalize to be prepared for all the stress and pressures at school. The Valley Guardians Leadership Program is giving these underprivileged students the opportunity of a lifetime and impacting their lives in so many different ways! The scholar students appreciate the Valley Guardian donors for all of their efforts in making a difference in the community as well as in their individual lives!   

The Valley Guardians Leadership Program

The Valley Guardian program is a multiyear coaching program for underserved students in the community. It was created by successful professionals in the Phoenix Valley. They got together and formed a non-profit organization to find ways to fund developmental programs for kids in underserved communities. This program was designed for students in the valley who have good hearts and have a desire to be successful . The kids who are a part of this program have access to all different kinds of services like professional coaches, mentoring meetings, overnight excursions, leadership workshops, college and career readiness and more. The Valley Guardian program started with a single school of 6 students, and overtime has grown to 13 schools, 7 districts, and 49 active students. Overall there have been 120 students who have benefited from this program.

The Valley Guardians program offers over thirty online and in person workshops per year. We do many different types of workshops per year including things like arcades, parks, hikes, parties, and online leadership training. Many of the kids who come are not very social and are looking for a place to feel comfortable and be able to meet new people while being themselves. When they come to programs they have a great time. The way we set them up makes kids feel comfortable, whether we ask them what they are interested in doing or set them up to meet new people through social activities at the beginning of each event. The students find they feel connected and accepted through the program. 

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