'Bear Day' a success thanks to sponsors
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For three years, St. Vincent de Paul has saved stuffed teddy bears for the Douglas Community United Methodist Church's annual "Bear Day" at the Eagle River Methodist Camp. During Bear Day, all camp participants, even the cooks, receive a teddy bear.
Last year, St. Vincent de Paul donated old shoes, which were used to build a walkway just outside the flagpole at the camp. The shoes were buried sole-side up to create a nice walkway.
Fred Meyer also donated weekly pill organizers that were used for any child camper who needed medication.
The Douglas Community United Methodist Church would like to thank St. Vincent de Paul and Fred Meyer for contributing to a successful camp.
Thanks to Juenau Youth Center's volunteers
I would like to take this opportunity to commend and thank the teachers and staff of the Juneau School District who worked this past school year at the Johnson Youth Center: Jo Dahl, Jana Lee, Carla Mayo and Rick Currier.
Education is a critical piece of the foundation from which juveniles can overcome their law-breaking behavior. Conversely, the lack of a good education is a major risk factor that contributes to a life of criminal behavior and in turn, costs the state dearly. A national report on juvenile offenders and victims published in 1999 reported that allowing one youth to leave high school for a life of crime and drug abuse costs society between $1.7-2.3 million.
The work these teachers and staff not only saves money and prevents more victims - it helps these youth lead successful lives. The residents at the Johnson Youth Center in Juneau represented the Southeast school districts for the third year in a row in the statewide Battle of the Books competition, outperforming youth from several other schools and making their parents proud.
They've also worked in partnership with the Division of Juvenile Justice to construct and maintain the Johnson Youth Center Gardens that serve as a source of food and education for at-risk youth in the Juneau community.
Such stories are common and serve to demonstrate the truth in Plato's observation that, through education, we can help young people "find pleasure in what they have to learn."
Director, Department of Health and Social Services Division ofJuvenile Justice