Jeffery Allen, a board member with Adolescence Young Adults Drinking and Driving, or AYADD, asked how many of the eight kids at the center Wednesday have heard of the series of deadly package bombs delivered to Austin homes in recent days.
Allen said he had a friend who knew the father of the 17-year-old who was killed by one of the explosions, using it as an example of how parent-child communication is critical.
“This place is not meant to make us look good. This place is for you guys,” Allen said. “That’s why we push so much stuff with young guys. If you see something wrong, talk to us.”
The nonprofit is taking children bowling, golfing and more at no cost to them or their families during spring break this week. Focus groups before the events of each day kick things off, and the talking point for Wednesday focused on how children should place more faith in their elders.
“You’re not the next generation,” said Executive Director Sandra Minor. “You’re the now generation.”
Minor and Allen underscored how parents have often gone through what children are going through, just in different forms.
Talking points included hanging with the right crowds to avoid picking up bad habits, and mutual respect.
Minor discussed how important mutual respect for one another.
It was the first time many of the children first interacted with AYADD. All eight of them expressed appreciation for how laidback and open the atmosphere was at the facility.
“It takes a village to raise a child,” Minor said. “This is their spring break, and we just want to provide a safe way for them to enjoy it.”
AYADD staff then took the children to the movies, followed by bowling at Phantom Warrior Lanes at Fort Hood.
The nonprofit wants children to arrive at the center no later than 9 a.m. Breakfast and lunch are provided free of charge. Transportation is provided.
Golfing is next on the list for Thursday at Stonetree Golf Club. Skating at Texas Skateland will wrap up the week on Friday.
Events dates and time could change with notice, according to Minor.
Permission slips must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
The AYADD Outreach Center at 1109 Dogwood Blvd. can be contacted by phone at 254-285-4284, or by email at AYADDoutreach@yahoo.com.