Youth Academy schedule:
8-8:20 a.m. – City Hall - Donuts and orange juice will be served
8:30-8:55 a.m. – Waste Water Treatment Plant
9:05-9:55 a.m. – Street Department
10:05-10:35 a.m. – Park Department (Zoo) (Pop, cookies, water)
10:40-11:15 a.m. – Police Department (in water park parking lot)
11:25 a.m.-noon – Lunch with the mayor and City Council members at 10th Street Pizza Hut
12:15-1:05 p.m. – Fire Department Station No. 2
1:20-2 p.m. – Idea exchange with the city administrator
2 p.m. – Dismissal
In case of rain, there is an alternative schedule that involves more indoor activities.
If you see local youth being hauled around this Friday and Friday June 28, in police cars or in the back of ambulances it is not because they are in trouble with the law or injured in an accident.
Approximately 80 seventh and eighth graders are participating in the Annual City Youth Academy classes sponsored by the City of Great Bend. The students are gaining a behind the scenes glance at the different city departments, said City Administrator Howard Partington.
“The academy allows for hands on learning for the students,” he said. This summer’s Academies brings a total of 38 different Youth Academy Classes the city has conducted over the past 14 years, representing over 1,230 student participants.
The students participate in training exercises with the Police Departments Tactical Team, shoot fire hoses, are involved with a mock medical emergency at the Fire Department, drive high loaders, ride 35 feet in the air in bucket trucks at Public Work, and also make stops at the. Waste Water Treatment Plant and Park Departments before being treated to lunch with Mayor Mike Allison and City Council members.
Partington said an important aspect of the academy is an idea exchange with City Leaders. The exchange insures that the youth have input into their city government. Many city projects have been completed as a result of this important session.
Another success of the Academy is the number of former participants who are returning to Great Bend to live and work after they have graduated from college, Partington said. Annually, city leaders visit state universities to re-connect with past Youth Academy participants and other Great Bend High School graduates.
Great Bend businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, and city administrators have a plan in place to specifically help college graduates from Great Bend High School find jobs in Great Bend that specifically fits their career fields, he said. In recent years, Great Bend had seen a return of many past Youth Academy participants who are now graduating from college.
“We want to be known as the city that listens to our kids,” Allison said “We want our kids to have so much fun growing up in Great Bend, that someday, when they are ready to settle down and start a family, we hope they will remember how much fun Great Bend was for them and will consider coming back to live.”