By Lori NewmanMarch 25, 2010
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- During spring break, preschoolers swarmed the Middle School and Teen Center racing around the gym, coloring in the craft room and hung out waiting for a treat from the kitchen.
Teens from the Torch Club, Sports Club, the Smart Girls and Passport to Manhood clubs planned and implemented activities for the Child Development Center preschoolers March 16 and 18 as a way to accumulate community service hours.
"The CDC children use the facility weekly," Vince Allen, youth director, Child, Youth & School Services explained, the teen leadership clubs try to come up with planned activities for the 3 to 5 year olds quarterly.
Last quarter the teens planned a story time and cookie making session for the kids. This time the teens planned physical activity events. The preschoolers were divided into three groups with the teens supervising the activities.
"The teens run all the activities, we [teachers] hang back and let them do their thing," said Jill Marcott, Start Smart coordinator.
"I like having treats over here," said 4-year-old Sydney Trent, as she colored her picture with 15-year-old, Rebecca Mayo.
"I love it [when the little kids] come over here [to the Middle School and Teen Center]. I like seeing them having a good time and seeing them smile," said Mayo.
"I like to color," said Cerina Jones, 5.
"Me too," said Isabella Owen, 4.
"We all worked together to come up with the games," said Davano Ohaver, 16, "[The kids] just really want to have fun, they don't want to be structured; they just want to run around."
"I have fun with the kids; I like to try to remember their names. It's fun," said Ohaver.
"This program is awesome. The teachers love it - the kids love it, it's great," said Marcott. "This facility is beautiful."
"Our teens benefit because they get the opportunity to mentor to the younger kids," said Allen. "It's a win-win for everyone."