I wanted to take the time to let the community of Spring Grove hear about the good, positive ideas that our local teenagers have.

In my World Literature class, made up of 23 juniors and seniors, we recently read Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol".

We are planning a field trip to the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro for all juniors and seniors, and this is the play we will be seeing. I thought it would be nice to have looked at and read the original text prior to seeing the play; we are often familiar with the many movies versions, but not always the original words.

Taking inspiration from the beloved character Tiny Tim and the lessons learned by Scrooge, I also incorporated a service-learning project into our classroom activities.

Students were randomly divided into teams and given the task of creating a service project or a means to raise funds for charitable causes. They could be worldwide or local.

They then had to pitch their idea and persuade other staff members and myself to support their project. An informative display was created, as well as a classroom oral presentation. We then voted for the one we thought was well done and that one would become our class project.

The students came up with many great ideas, and it was hard to only select one to act upon. They had ideas such as a basketball tournament to raise funds for cancer, raising funds to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and organizing snow removal efforts for those in need.

One group also promoted helping with the replanting of trees in town, since they are aware of that upcoming city project. The youth are aware of our town politics and are taking notice.

The group that received the most votes was about a program called "Operation Christmas Child." The deadline to support that initiative had already passed, so the students thought we could tweak it some and do something within our local area of Houston County. Please read about their plans in the School/Youth section of today's paper.

If you haven't had a chance to make some sort of donation yet this holiday season, here is your chance to help local teens help other local teens.

If you have already made a donation, please consider doing it again.

If you have any questions or would like to donate, feel free to contact me at home 498-3674 or email julianna.lile@gmail.com.

As said in Dicken's "A Christmas Carol," "There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor."

I might also add the contagiousness of goodwill and challenge you to help spread goodwill, laughter and good humor this Christmas!

Julianna Lile

Spring Grove