Organized activities keep Thomasville teens out of trouble - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Organized activities keep Thomasville teens out of trouble

May 24, 2006

Thomasville-  In Thomasville, trouble has already found several teens. Two high school graduates were arrested Monday charged with aggravated assault for shooting a 14 and 15 year old with a pellet gun. Monday morning group of teens tossed a Molotov cocktail into the middle of Summerhill Road scorching the roadway. Providing students with organized activities may keep many out of trouble over the next three months.

Eleven year old Jonathan Law, plans on dancing his way through summer.

"Because it gives me a challenge to move my body and just go crazy," said Jonathan Law, 11 year old student.

Going crazy at the YMCA with friends is a safe way to spend the next three months.

"Sometimes, they don't have a lot of things to do so they wind up out on the street doing things that they don't need to be doing and getting into things they don't need to be getting into," said Penny Hembree, Thomasville School Resource Officer.

That's why school resource officers are encouraging organized summer activities.

"We have a soccer camp going on this week, as well as our girls fast pitch softball camp, and our swim team began practicing so they're swimming every morning from 8 to 11," said Greer Cox, Thomasville YMCA Branch Director.

While some students are diving into activities they're also learning right from wrong.

"I mean, should we jump to conclusions just because something is missing?" questions a YMCA instructor.

"Each one of these teens has to attend a character building program and learn about trustworthiness, about being respectful, about being responsible," said Cox.

There are also plenty of free programs through The Boys and Girls Club and Thomasville Police Department.

"We've got a lot of summer programs going on this summer, we've got Safetyville," said Hembree.

Thomasville Police will also hold a new juvenile law enforcement camp, but whatever it is kids should have some organized activity.

"Yeah, I'll spend most of my time here," said Law.

That activity could keep students safe this summer and out of trouble.

The YMCA offers a special 12 week kids summer membership for $110. All activities at the Boys and Girls Club and the Thomasville Police Department are free.  

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