San Marcos residents of all ages are encouraged to participate in three more “community conversations” on youth slated for March 21, March 25 and March 28 in different neighborhoods.
The sessions seek to engage youth, parents, teachers, grandparents and community leaders in the creation of a Youth Master Plan. The first event was held on March 4 at the Activity Center.
The next sessions will be held Thursday, March 21 at Cuauhtémoc Hall, 1100 Patton Street; remaining ones are Monday, March 25 at First Baptist Church, 325 W. McCarty Lane, and Thursday, March 28, at Redwood Baptist Church, 2050 Poplar Street.
City Council Member Kim Porterfield, the city’s representative on the National League of Cities Youth, Education and Families Steering Committee, encouraged parents and children to attend this week’s session Thursday at Cuauhtémoc Hall.
"Momentum and excitement about developing our roadmap to guide youth and family success in San Marcos are building,” she said.
The community must “own” the plan, Porterfield said, citing the importance of residents participating in one of the three remaining events this month.
“We must bring youth, parents, teachers, organizations, corporations and schools together to create this plan," she said.
“Creating a common agenda for children, youth and families will allow our local governments and youth organizations to work together to implement strategies identified in our plan,” she added.
The Youth Master Plan process began last spring with the appointment of a Youth Advisory Council with representatives from public, private and home schooled youth. The YAC has met 19 times since then.
In August, 2012, the city contracted with The Forum for Youth Investment as consultants to facilitate development of the plan.
The advisory council participated in the Design Rodeo in September and the design team began meeting in October.
The San Marcos CISD administered a Gallup Student Poll in October with more than 3,500 students from grades 5-12 taking part.
The poll measures hope, engagement and well-being.
The Youth Master Plan Steering Committee was appointed in December and met for the first time in January 2013.
Co-chairs are Bea Flores, director of Student Services for SMCISD; Mark Newton, pastor of First Baptist Church; and Gage Sears, San Marcos High School senior, a Youth Advisory Council representative.
Pizza and drinks will be served, with special activities for young children.
Following the Community Conversations, the group will get to work on developing core principles, child and youth outcomes, recommended supports and opportunities, goals, strategies and action steps, and set up structures for ongoing and shared accountability.
The Youth Master Plan is slated to be completed in June.
The plan is being coordinated by Stephanie Reyes, assistant director of Human Resources. She can be reached at City Hall at 393-8106 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Visit www.sanmarcostx.gov/youth  for more information.