Nenana Wellness Coalition
November 10, 2015
The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate, masticate and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
We had ten participants today: Inna Rivkin, Bonnie Reed, Tom & Nycki Saxton, Carrie Farr, Virginia Young, Jeannie Bennett, Mary Alexander, Kat McElroy and Tim Horn. We enjoyed pork and rice- pasta casserole, pickled purple cabbage, raisins with pecans, and Ritz crackers with sliced cheese and cookies for lunch.
WELCOME and READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson, Jeannie Bennett.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Posted at the WIN link at http://www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: Bonnie introduced her daughter Nycki and Nyckie’s husband, Tom, visiting from Barrow.
Digital Storytelling Project: Inna Rivkin introduced herself and explained that she is interested in doing a digital storytelling project here in Nenana: Intergenerational dialogue exchange and action to facilitate youth wellness. She will be doing a presentation tomorrow night at the school board meeting and another to the native council on November 24th. She has already spoked to Eric Gephardt, the superintendent at Nenana City Public School, and several teachers and key community members in the initial planning process.
Inna explained that her goals, methodologies, the assessments she would use, all would be flexible, organic as the project took form, as she wants it to best fit the community that participates. Her identified basic goals are to build on cultural traditions and to use digital media to expand impact of storytelling. She wants to incorporate elder, adult and youth exchanges, reflective school-based learning, digital story production, and sharing to enhance community resilience and promote wellness for high school youth in Nenana.
She has identified six steps: adult and elders create digital stories (short visual narratives combining music, photos, voice and video); digital stories prompt intergenerational conversations about resiliency; youth integrate what they learn and apply lessons to their own lives; feasibility testing and evaluation of this intervention; youth create digital stories communicating their own stories of resiliency, hopes for the future and sources of strength; digital stories are shared in community meetings to spur dialogue and action to facilitate youth well-being.
She indicated she would like to have a community steering committee for the project. She asked who else would we view as important partners or collaborators. There were questions asked if this would be incorporated into the school curriculum or be an ancillary activity for NCPS students. After some discussion, consensus seemed to be that it would be better if it could be built into the curriculum to encourage broader participation. There were questions regarding the concept of culture as a potential barrier to engagement as the concept can be loaded for many people in regards to which culture or whose culture.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: Talk to one another; listen closely to what each other says.
UPDATES/ANNOUNCEMENTS: Writer had to excuse herself from meeting before the announcements began to attend to another matter.
City Assembly meeting Thursday, November 12th, 6:30 PM, at the Senior Center.