Thursday, July 27, 2000

Summer lesson: helping others

Program gives kids a chance to aid community

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — While their peers may spend summer in idle recreational pursuits, about 60 local children involved in the Covington Summer Youth Program's Community Clubs are learning about teamwork, leadership and problem solving.

        The program is a collaboration of Covington's public school system, recreation department, the Covington Community Center and Children Inc.

        The children, ages 9 through 13, are also having their share of fun at the five club sites.

        At the outset of the six-week program, club members photographed the good and bad things they saw in their communities. Then they devised projects to make things better.

        Children at the Ninth District Elementary club site saw dirty cars in their neighborhood and organized a car wash. The $50 they raised Wednesday will go to a homeless shelter and to buy flowers for the school grounds.

        At the Northern Kentucky Community Center, club members engaged in a friendly competition Tuesday to see who could pick up the most trash in the neighborhood. By day's end, eight children had gathered 250 pounds, said Joe Cordonnier, a club adviser.

        At John G. Carlisle School, club members baked desserts Wednesday to take to the Parish Kitchen, which feeds the needy.

        “It's not their fault that they're poor,” 10-year-old DeMarco Eberhardt said of the Parish Kitchen's clients.

        At Glenn O. Swing Elementary, the club is doing a neighborhood cleanup next week. Volunteer Erica Cady said members also have visited Rosedale Manor and played volleyball and put together puzzles with residents.

        Said Ellen Muse-Lindeman, program director at the Covington Community Center: “I think this program shows that young people care about their community, and they want to make it a better place.”


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- Summer lesson: helping others