Program aims to keep teens out of trouble |

Program aims to keep teens out of trouble

Staying busy means staying out of trouble for a group of South Tahoe Middle School students.

The Club Live program at STMS proves that there is plenty of fun to be had, drug-free.

“It keeps you too busy to do any of that stuff,” eighth-grader Josh Mitchell said. “It’s based on a lot of community work.”

Under the direction of faculty advisor Larry Lambdin, Club Live members are doing their part to make a difference.

“These kids become good role models at school,” Lambdin said. “All of the activities (Club Live does) fall in to one of three categories: fun activities, community service and leadership.”

Promoting an overall healthy lifestyle, Club Live members travel to conferences, organize activities, and raise money to benefit worthy causes in the community.

It sounds like quite a plateful for a group of kids, but these little leaders welcome the responsibilities.

“If we can keep this program going then maybe we can teach other kids to not try drugs,” said seventh-grader Melody Taylor, the club’s financial adviser. “And some kids join the club to get off drugs.”

According to Lambdin, Club Live also focuses on teen-age issues other than drug use.

“Since the program was created 10 years ago, it’s also dealt with violence and just being a healthy person,” Lambdin said. “It deals with a lot of issues in school that don’t fall under the umbrella of drugs and alcohol.

“It’s about trying to make the school a better place. We want to make people aware that youth are powerful and they can make a difference.”

Over Christmas, the kids put together “necessity bags” for Alliance for the Mentally Ill clients and also adopted a family.

Some other projects include an annual car wash/dog wash to benefit the Humane Society, a beach cleanup and a canned food drive to raise money for Christmas Cheer.

Club Live has 177 members and 16 leaders.

The leaders said one of their favorite functions was the Chico Leadership Conference.

“The Chico trip was just for leaders,” seventh-grader Christie Cotcher said. “It was such an eye-opener to what goes on with teens. I’m talking about drug abuse, adoption, suicide … .”

Mitchell said the trip also taught him a lot about his fellow Club Live members.

“It was really emotional,” Mitchell said. “We learned so much about each other.”

Faculty mentor adviser Holly Greenough said popularity is not the key to membership in Club Live. Any type of student is welcome to join.

“All schools have athletic activities and scholastic activities, but few schools have activities that address the entire school,” Greenough said. “To be in Club Live, you don’t need to be brilliant. You don’t need to be able to run fast, you just need to stay off drugs and alcohol.”

Mitchell said the club has done a lot for him.

“It takes up my time and helps me with problems I face at home and with friends,” he said. “It gives me an environment where I can feel safe. My friends started drugs when I was 9, but I was taught at a young age to stay away. In sixth grade, I almost tried it, but I heard about this club and I joined it.”

Taylor said she heard about Club Live when she was in elementary school.

“I had a friend who was going here when I was in fourth grade,” Taylor said. “She had a dog tag on from Club Live and I thought, ‘When I get into middle school, I’m going to be in that club.’ This was a really good friend of mine and I really trusted her influence.”

For information on Club Live, contact Lambdin at (530) 541-6404.

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