See them, hear them
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Oct 28, 2009  |  Vote 0    0

See them, hear them

St. Marys Journal Argus

Remember the adage "children should be seen and not heard?" If you do, you're likely of a certain age, where experience and wisdom were valued, as it would seem, over youth, pop culture, and the ability to understand text-messages (and why someone would choose to type a message on a tiny keypad instead of just calling the recipient ' on the very same device).These days, everyone wants to know what kids are thinking, whether it be marketers, their parents, or their zillions of Facebook friends. And with good reason ' never before have youth been so involved in the community. While many of us would choose to bemoan the state of children today as zombies staring at a variety of screens for hours on end, the technology which is second nature to them has also made them connected in a way the demographic has never been before ' and given them the ability and knowledge to rally behind a cause like never before.Creating a blanket drive for the homeless; publishing books and creating a writing award; building a school halfway around the world; raising funds for rare diseases and studying the ecology of a beloved creek ' it's an honourable list of activities for adults, but this list is just a sampling of the noble actions which earned 12 Ontarians between the ages of six and 17 a Junior Citizen of the Year award in 2008. The awards are sponsored by the Ontario Community Newspaper Association, non-profit industry association comprising more than 300 member newspapers located throughout the province, including the Journal Argus. The awards are a nice fit with our own philosophy of promoting the best in our community; key attributes for nominees include being involved in worthwhile community service, contributing to the community while living with a disability, performing an act of heroism, and showing a commitment to making life better, or by doing things not expected of someone their age. Do you know a youth who rises above? You can pick up a nomination form at our offices, or visit www.ocna.org. The nomination deadline is Nov. 30, and the recipients will be announced in January, with an awards ceremony in Toronto in March. Locally, the Journal Argus has picked up the baton for our youth, with an advertising feature called Youth of the Month (in addition to our editorial coverage of outstanding people of all ages), which honours a local youth who has done something out of the ordinary ' or who is just a good kid that deserves to be recognized for studying hard, participating in the community, and avoiding the familiar pratfalls of youth. We need you to let us know who these good kids are ' send in a nomination of 100 or so words, as well as a photo, to me at amacko@stmarys.com (or drop it off at our office) and we'll let you know what issue your "good kid" will be in. After all, children deserve to be seen and heard ' especially when they've done something outstanding for our community.

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