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Teens outline ideas for community improvement

January 16, 2002

Teens outline ideas for community improvement



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Seven teenagers turned out Tuesday to outline for the Washington County Commissioners ways they thought the community could be improved over the next three to five years.

County Commission President Gregory I. Snook promised them that the commissioners would look into their suggestions.

"They need to know our major concerns," Eric Rollins, 15, said after the presentation to the commissioners.

The oral report given to the commissioners stemmed from an Oct. 11 Conversations on Youth Development in the 21st Century conference. More than 35 teenagers, adults and community leaders attended the conference hosted by Washington County 4-H extension educators.

The group broke into five teams, each of which prioritized its suggestions. Those priorities were presented to the commissioners Tuesday. The teams and their priorities include:

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HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Youth working with adults: This team's suggestions included attending professional sports events, visiting the White House with congressional leaders and/or the state capital with delegates and senators, a written report said.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Youth programs available for all youth: Recommendations include having transportation to and from schools for all students, having community centers open on weekends and expanding tutoring programs.

The team also suggested offering driver education in schools, which Snook reminded them would require additional funding.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Youth learning and participating in their communities: This team called for eliminating drug dealing from areas where children play, creating more mentoring programs at all levels and getting parents to have a more active role in youth programs.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Youth professionals and volunteers working with and for youth: Suggestions include improving child/parent relations, supporting and recruiting strong community leaders and offering weekend events planned by youth.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Working together for positive youth development - Recommendations include more government funding for expansion of programs, having leaders of organizations meet to plan community objectives and creating a teen/adult council.

The students making the presentations Tuesday were Rollins, Tameika Kutrell, Mark Spencer, Sierra Holman, Daveeda Land, Michael Rodgers and Courtney Smith.

The students made a similar presentation to the Washington County Board of Education in December.

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