Archive for Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New program to help teens develop leadership skills

August 31, 2005

Call it her inspiration.

After graduating from the nine-month Southern Leavenworth County Leadership Development program earlier this year, Tonganoxie Recreation Commission assistant director Paula Bollinger got the ball rolling for a similar program in Tonganoxie -- for teens.

The Teen Leadership Development Series will have its inaugural meeting at 6 p.m. Sept. 12 at the former Ratliff Drug Store, Fourth and Bury streets.

Teens will meet twice a month with the final meeting set for Dec. 19. The course will focus on items such as personal expression, team building, communication skills, local government, money management and facilitation.

April Dohle will be the instructor for the course, although Bollinger said Dohle will be more of a facilitator for the series.

"She has a lot of experience with that," Bollinger said.

The series is open to teens ages 13 to 17 with Friday being the deadline to sign up. The program costs $35, and snacks and refreshments will be available for each of the eight meetings.

Graduates of the series also will have the opportunity to be on the recreation commission's Teen Advisory Committee, a panel Bollinger is creating to gain more input from teens regarding the commission's programs.

"I would love to have a teen advisory committee," Bollinger said. "I certainly want to expand my teen programming."

The recreation commission already offers Teen Night once a month. The next Teen Night will be Sept. 10 with moonlight hoops at the Chieftain Park basketball courts. As always, soft drinks will be available for the event. And, an improved sound system for music also will be provided, Bollinger said.

And on Nov. 12, Bollinger hopes to have the rec commission's first "battle of the bands" in the administration building at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.

Although Bollinger is hoping for good turnouts for basketball and bands, she's also eager for the development series to start.

"Ultimately, it should be fun, but empowering," she said.

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