improving their community
The Cottonwood Police Department and Idaho County Juvenile Probation office recently recognized the positive results of several local teens. The teens had been participating in the eight grade “Youth for Justice” and “Care Bears” programs where they would not only learn, but also would share what they learned regarding issues from bullying, equality, and concern for others by reaching out to the other grades and teaching them. Prairie Middle School even gave class time to allow for the kids to teach the younger age groups.
In order to recognize this behavior Cottonwood Police Department contacted Idaho County Juvenile Probation and requested assistance. Funding was located to provide a recognition dinner for the students and their parents, however, they did have to work at the dinner. The students were tasked with coming up with a way to improve their community, the attitudes, problems, and solutions to the problems.
At the end of the dinner the students then presented their ideas. They have decided to form a ‘TEENS FOR JUSTICE’ group that is open to everyone. They are setting up an email address for anyone with ideas to submit to, as well as working with teachers, parents, and community members in an attempt to establish a teen center for the community. They want to involve older and younger students both, build more respect for teachers at the high school, allow the teachers to establish more strict punishment and involve the parents, teachers, principal and student in the discussion of the punishment, establish an area where they can ‘hang out’ with other teenagers and help the younger kids with programs similar to Big Brothers and Sisters.
Overall, they want to improve their community and its attitudes as well as establish more of a positive spirit vs just a place to hang out. They want to accept ownership of their actions and facilities.
This is an outstanding core group of kids, I certainly hope that the parents, civic leaders, businesses, and organizations can support them, and facilitate for them where needed as that is all we will need to do. These young adults have the drive and desire to do the rest, and I am proud to be able to recognize what they have started.
Terry S. Cochran