Archive for Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New teen group focuses efforts on performing volunteer work

November 29, 2006

On a recent Thursday night, five Tonganoxie teens embarked on a project to help people in this community.

And throughout the rest of the school year, and possibly longer, Teen Team will continue to focus its work on service work.

¢ For more information about Teen Team, call Paula Bollinger, (913) 845-3502.

The project began with Paula Bollinger, assistant director of Tonganoxie Recreation Commission and Megan Hogan, an AmeriCorps team leader and Kansas University graduate student.

"The meetings focus on volunteer service projects with a learning component," Bollinger said.

Bollinger said teens often need to earn community service hours for school assignments or clubs in which they're involved. And, she said, Teen Team service projects qualify for community service hours.

"Or, they can just come to have fun while making a difference," Bollinger said. "They are welcome to attend as many or as few projects as they like."

The organization will meet twice a month at whatever dates and places participants decide on in advance. For instance, Tuesday they planned to rake leaves and do yard work at the home of a Tonganoxie resident.

At last week's meeting, which five teens attended, the youths put designs on quilt blocks, which eventually will be made into quilts for Project Linus, which donates quilts to seriously ill or traumatized children.

Because Megan Hogan was unable to attend the first meeting, Paul Marksbury, another AmeriCorps team leader, substituted for her.

"It was a very positive experience," Marksbury said. "We had a good time, got along well and did quite a few quilt squares for Project Linus -- very productive."

Bollinger said meetings are also set for December when teens will make Christmas cards for Tonganoxie homebound residents at the Dec. 7 meeting and deliver them at the Dec. 19 meeting.

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