Friday, July 05, 2002

Good News: Program will mold leaders




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        Thirty-six “tweens” — kids ages 10-14 — will get a chance to share work experiences of managers, CEOs, presidents, superintendents, zoo keepers and security officers during a two-week pilot program July 8-19.

        The program is sponsored by TweenPlace Alliance Inc., a nonprofit group affiliated with the National Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

        Doug Arthur, CEO and co-founder of TweenPlace, said the idea is to teach kids how to be better decision-makers.

        “These are our future leaders,” Mr. Arthur said. “This program is designed to help them be more self-confident and self-reliant, by teaching them how to problem-solve.”

        The program is designed to take the kids behind the scene where grownups work, Mr. Arthur said.

        Families in Indian Hill, Mason, Madeira, Wyoming, West Chester Township, Anderson Township, Westwood and Loveland paid $585 each to enroll 27 kids in the program.

        Mr. Arthur said they enrolled nine inner-city kids, sponsored by United Way/Community Chest, the Cincinnati Knowledge Works Foundation and the Perfetti Van Melle Candy Co. in Erlanger.

        At 8:15 a.m. Monday they will gather at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Madeira in a pre-trip orientation, and then start their trips.

        “They will be divided into five teams. The teams will be mixed up each day and each child will have a chance to serve as team leader,” Mr. Arthur said. “Activities are designed to learn skills such as how to plan a meeting, how to plan the steps in completing a task, how to work within a budget, etc.”

        Solutions are evaluated and awarded “TweenBucks” points.

        “Solutions should incorporate cultural diversity, respect for the environment, inclusion versus exclusion, dignity for all healthy living habits and future orientation,” Mr. Arthur said.

        During the program, the tweens will visit two radio stations, an arboretum, a mattress and a donut factory, a supermarket, an amusement park and a fitness center.

        They will plan a hypothetical 2005 Tristate Tween Convention, using information about the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, and then be wooed by convention centers in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

        Rosemary Petrovich of West Chester enrolled her son, Adam, an eighth-grader at the Academy of Greater Cincinnati in Rossmoyne.

        “It really sounds good to me,” Mrs. Petrovich said. “There is not a lot out there that will give children the breadth of experience this program gives. It sounds like a lot of fun while at the same time they are not wasting time. They are learning a valuable lesson.”

        For more information on the program, call 467-0018.

        Allen Howard's “Some Good News” column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at ahoward@enquirer.com or by fax at 768-8340.

       



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