A ten-session series of programs designed to enhance the civic understanding and leadership skills of minorities in the Storm Lake area will begin on Tuesday, March 15. The sessions will be held at the AEA Building, Suites A & B, Storm Lake from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for ten consecutive Tuesday evenings through May 17.
According to Assistant County Extension Education Director Karen Hixon, the leadership series has been designed to help new residents develop a better understanding of their community and their role as a community member. Participants will also develop a better understanding of leadership principles and enhance their self-confidence to become involved in civic activities, better understand how to become involved in local government and local civic organizations, gain a better understanding of how our government works at the city, county, state and federal levels, and connect with other new residents to explore the feasibility of joining together in new civic and/or neighborhood organizations.
Each weekly session will address a different topic that will include:
* Overview of the program, leadership, meetings, understanding and getting involved in government and civic organizations, and citizen involvement.
* Understanding how our city government operates, how citizens can get involved, and a tour of the new water treatment plant.
* Understanding how our school system operates, how citizens can get involved, and the differences between public and private school systems.
*Understanding our judicial system.
* Understanding our public safety system and going through a tour of facilities.
* Understanding our health and human services agencies.
* Understanding our immigration laws.
* Understanding our state and federal government.
* Business and community issues.
* Housing and banking.
Hixon says that all of the sessions will have a Spanish interpreter.
The Community Voices Together We Can program has been developed by a planning committee consisting of Hixon, Carey Larson, Sara Monroy-Huddleston, and Ron Hott. The program is being sponsored by ISU Extension, Iowa Workforce Development, Storm Lake Public Safety, and the Storm Lake Diversity Task Force.
Anyone interested in becoming involved in the leadership sessions to learn more about our community should contact Karen Hixon at the ISU Extension Office, 732-5056, or Carey Larson at the local office of Iowa Workforce Development, 732-1576.