With school being out and the dog days of the summer upon us, the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly Youth Activities Task Force (SWNA YATF) is poised to help support and sponsor summer programs for Southwest youth as it has done so in the past. SWNA YATF will be hosting a Safe Sitter class at the Randall Recreation Center beginning in July for adolescents ages 11-13. Taught by certified instructors, students will, among other things, discuss role play and practice caring for children in their charge, behavior management, first aid and safety, and choking and rescue breathing. The two and one half hour training will meet daily at 6:30 pm for two weeks (exact date to be announced). The training is free and will include materials and healthy snacks. Each participant is required to pass a test which helps to ensure that the student has mastered the skills of an effective Safe Sitter. For more information about the training or to register, please email thelma@thesouthwester.com or call (202) 251-1639.

Founded in 1985 as an all volunteer task force, SWNA YATF has been a certified Safe Sitter site for over a decade, including once holding the distinction for years of being the only certified Safe Sitter site in the nation’s capital. To date, SWNA YATF has trained more than 50 Safe Sitters. Sixteen of these students were trained during a summer program held at Amidon-Bowen School a few years ago.

By Thelma D. Jones

Thelma D. Jones is a veteran Safe Sitter instructor and the chair of SWNA-YATF.

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