Tuesday, December 18, 2007

League of Extraordinary Teens in Cleveland, Tennessee

Bradley County now has four members of the League of Extraordinary Teens, a program of the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation in accordance with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
All four League members are students at Walker Valley High School, and are members of that school's Beta Club. They include 10th graders Melani Owens, Bethany Thomason and Joshua Eckelberry, and 12th grader Dani Armstrong.
Armstrong was the first to complete her requirements for League inclusion, and Owens, Thomason and Eckelberry soon followed. Each took on the task of meeting League requirements as a Beta Club project.
A program of the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, the League of Extraordinary Teens is a unique and hands-on statewide initiative seeking to engage Tennesseans ages 13 to 19 in the financial and logistical support of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. League membership requires teens to personally register a minimum of 10 children and raise a minimum of $135 to cover the cost of enrolling those children in their county's Imagination Library for a full year.
In all, these four students raised over $900 and signed up well over the minimum requirement.
“I was so proud to see them take on this project and run with it,” said WVHS Beta Club sponsor Ashley Fox. “It is such a good program to get these books into the hands of pre-school children, and I know that these students feel the same.”
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library mails a new, age-appropriate, hardcover book every month to children from birth to the time they turn five, at no cost to the family. United Way of Bradley County administers the program locally.
Beta Club members at Walker Valley High School, Bradley Central High School and Cleveland High School worked earlier this year on a project where they were helping sign up children for the program at a home football game. Several children were signed up during that project, and money was also raised then for the program.
“It is wonderful to see these students getting involved in helping us not only sign up children for the Imagination Library and raise funds to help us locally but also to be good spokespersons for the program,” said United Way of Bradley County President and CEO Brenda Abel. “We appreciate Melanie, Brittany, Joshua and Dani, and the other Beta Club members in our community, who have been involved.”
Currently, 208 teenagers representing 36 counties have already been inducted and countless others are creatively working toward membership in the League of Extraordinary Teens. These teen-agers have personally registered more than 2,290 children and personally raised more than $28,645 for their counties’ Imagination Library program. Additionally, nine counties have received donations from local Beta Clubs totaling more than $3,835.
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