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Idaho Enterprise

Malad City Mayors’ Youth Council sponsors Tandem Tour

On Wednesday night, April 5, The League of Idaho Cities and Audrey Draper, MT-BC, SCMT, brought to Malad High School The Tandem Tour, a coping skills program for youth. The program was sponsored for the school by the Mayor’s Youth Council.

The League of Idaho Cities is an arm of the Association of Idaho Cities (AIC). They work through the AIC to bring programs to Idaho cities, such as Mayors’ Youth Advisory Council, The Tandem Tour and Readers Becoming Leaders. They work with the youth of the State of Idaho to help educate them through these special programs.

Malad City is taking advantage of these three programs. In the past year, a Mayors’ Youth Council was organized, which currently has eight members. They meet twice a month with the mayor, attend at least one city council meeting a year, and commit to service hours for the city. Readers Becoming Leaders has been a hit with Malad Elementary third graders the past two years, and with Stone Elementary second and third graders last year, where students learn all about cities and the services they provide. 

The Tandem Tour is new to Malad this year. The event was started by the League of Idaho Cities after COVID-19, when it became apparent that teens and adults were suffering from depression and anxiety, with some turning to drugs for help. The name and logo comes from a tandem bicycle. Tandem means “together”, and that is the message they are trying to teach – to not suffer alone but to turn to others for help and support. 

Audrey Draper, a board-certified music therapist, joined with Dawn Hall and Sheila Christensen of the League of Idaho Cities to bring The Tandem Tour to Malad. Draper uses music therapy to help teach about coping skills. In one exercise, Heather Howe kindly volunteered to play drums. But there were six drums, some very large, that Heather couldn’t hold and pound out a rhythm alone. However, when six other volunteers came forward, each taking a drum, they were able to pound out a somewhat rhythmic tune! Another exercise used rhythm sticks where attendees followed the instructions of Draper, and they learned skills on how to cope when there is a lot of background commotion and how to work with others. 

Draper also shared her personal experience of suffering from anxiety and panic attacks and how she resolved those issues through therapy. She provided tips on how to talk to others and share fears, how to help others by being a good listener and a good friend, and how to use outside activities that you enjoy to help you cope during hard times. One of the goals of the presentation is to teach students it's okay to open up about mental health and seek help from those you love and trust. 

A toolkit was provided to each attendee, including rhythm sticks, to use with the information provided. 

When setting up the event three months ago, the date seemed to be a good one; however, many students were away because of commitments to FCCLA, FFA and the High School band. Still, Mayor Joan Hawkins felt that the evening was worthwhile and that those attending learned from it. She hopes to bring the Tandem Tour back to Malad next spring.

 The Mayor’s Youth Council will be reorganizing during the month of April. It is a worthwhile organization where students learn how city government works and have the opportunity of providing service for the community. For any high school student interested, who will be a freshman through senior next school year, please contact Mayor Joan Hawkins or any current member of the Mayor’s Youth Council.

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