Some average teens in Madison County are doing some not so average things in their community. The impact of their volunteer work reaches far beyond the county line. The Madison County Teen As Planners group, better known as TAP, has been impacted lives in the community since 2009.
The group plans to start up a new volunteer project to help encourage reading in young children. “When you read to kids and they see you out in the community, it really creates a bond,” explains Jennifer Ivey, the Children’s Specialist at Madison County Library.
That is the impact these Teens As Planners strive to make whenever they volunteer, and they want to keep improving the lives of others. TAP coordinator, Leigh Anne Aaron, describes their new project. ” We are going to reach out to childcare centers and elementary school classrooms and have the students offer to come and read.”
The volunteers are always open to trying new projects. “You know if she pitches the idea and it becomes reality, I’d be more than willing to do something like that,” says CJ Foster, “I think it sounds really cool.”
Their current project includes organizing books, picking up toys and changing the sign at the local library. “It’s a tremendous help!” exclaims Ivey.
The TAP students might be the ones shelving books at the local library or volunteering out in the community, but it’s not only the community that benefits. These students get a lot back in return.
“Before, I was shy around people. Since then, you know, all these leadership skill I’ve been gaining has made me more out coming.,” states Michael Tiddle.
“If it wasn’t for Teens As Planners and it wasn’t through this volunteering, I’d just usually stay at home,” Foster says, “I wouldn’t have anything to do.”
Through the TAP program they get exposed to unique opportunities like traveling to New York to help hurricane Sandy victims. ” Without them [TAP], my pa would have never been able to do something like that, explains Michael, “I was really grateful.”