Youth learning key values during sessions

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2001

Lori Brooks said she has learned to keep her mouth shut.

Andy Tipton said he is learning the advice to &uot;think before you act.&uot;

Brooks, 15, and Tipton, 14, are two young people who have attended classes offered by the Families First Resource Center – a branch of Adams County Youth Court.

At the center, young people take classes such as anger management; they have instruction in values and making choices; and they attend tutoring or family therapy.

Brooks said the class on making choices helped her to think about not saying things that she later will regret.

Further, Brooks said the classes have helped her parents as well as her. &uot;They learned to talk to each other better than what they did,&uot; Brooks said. &uot;They learned to cooperate with kids.&uot;

Her mother, Helen D. Brooks, affirmed that. She penned her thoughts on the classes – including parenting classes – in a letter to Families First Resource Center.

Taking parenting classes did not mean she thought she was a bad parent, she wrote. But she recognized the classes taught new parenting techniques that helped her entire family and her daughter.

Lori Brooks’ classmate Tipton said he thinks the classes will help him deal with the pressures of adolescence.

&uot;I think I’ll be able to handle it a little bit better,&uot; he said.

And he has words of wisdom for other young people.

Tipton understands the pressures young people face in what he described as the &uot;messed up&uot; state of the world. He wrote about it in an essay titled &uot;The World Today&uot; for his tutoring class at Families First.

In addition to talking about crime and drugs in the world, Tipton also wrote about the need for recycling and other ways to care of the environment.

&uot;The world is being destroyed by our own stupidity – like pollution from cars and mills and aerosol spray cans,&uot; he wrote in his essay.

He also worries about the number of trees cut down on a regular basis even though he thinks human beings must learn to make the best of it.

&uot;This is our only planet, so we have to deal with the good and the bad,&uot; he wrote.

As pressures mount up around him, Tipton said, he is learning to &uot;just turn my back and walk away.&uot;