The town of Okotoks is asking aspiring young creatives to help bolster community pride.

Students in grades 7 to 12 are encourages to contribute to a new online magazine that the town is creating.

"The original idea for this project was, basically, to create a resource guide for youth that was easily accessible and easy to use," explains Amy Snyder, who is the Community Resource Specialist for Youth for the Town of Okotoks. "That kind of developed into, Well, why don't we make it even more accessible? We know that kids are on their phones a lot, and on different devices. So, we wanted to create a resource guide that basically highlights young writers and artists in the community, showcasing their work. But also, create a sense of community."

From there, they decided to create an online guide.

"Which would have links built right into the magazine, so that if a youth was looking at a resource, as far as they are feeling kinda down and they just want to talk to somebody, there would be options to click on actual resources that are available in the Okotoks area," explains Snyder.

So, what exactly is the town hoping these students contribute?

"We are looking at them giving us samples, basically, of what are their favourite things to do in Okotoks, what are their favourite landmarks, experiences, places to hangout, that sort of thing," Snyder says. "And they can do that through, either, poetry, short stories, photography, maybe they are drawing a picture, those kinds of things."

While this isn't the first resource guide that the town has put together, this is their first digital version.

"This way, it's more of, like, an interactive resource guide, where all the information is right there, it's easy to follow. It just makes things a lot easier for them," says Snyder.

Students are able to submit their creative work until the end of February. There aren't any limitations on how many students can submit their work, and there are no limitations on how many pieces a student can submit.

They are also looking for students to help fill the roles of Editor and Art Director.

"These youths can actually get involved in more ways than just submitting their artwork or their writing. They can actually be a part of creating it as well, in giving their input. Because we want to make it all about youth, not us," explains Snyder.

She adds that there will be a whole team of people from the town that will help put the magazine together. 

Once completed, the magazine will be found online at the Town of Okotoks website.

Information on how students can contribute can be found on the town's website.

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