Teens take on teaching

Peer Educators begin setting goals for this year

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— Teens will begin meeting this week to decide which social issues need attention among their peers.

The group of 25 teens, known as Peer Educators, includes students from Oak Creek, Hayden and Steamboat Springs. Advocates Against Battering and Abuse sponsors the program.

A daylong training for the group will be Tuesday at the Steamboat Sheraton Resort. The teens will begin to set goals for the year for the high schools they attend.

This is the eighth year for the program and the first time in years that Hayden has participated.

Last year, Peer Educators from Steamboat Springs High School felt that non-stranger rape needed to be discussed. They made a short film highlighting the role alcohol plays in sexual assault among teens. They showed the film at various places in town, including the high school, and followed the screening with a group discussion. The teens won a statewide award for their project.

At lunch on Tuesday, Steam--boat Springs School Super--intendent Donna Howell will give a short speech to the Peer Educators, after which Yampa Valley Community Foundation Executive Director Linda Haltom will present them with $2,600 toward this school year's education efforts. The group also will receive $1,100 from the Routt County Business and Professional Women's Group. The group disbanded and chose to give their leftover funds to the Peer Educators, according to Advocates Executive Director Diane Moore.

The funding will be used for project materials and administrative costs. Last year, funding was used to hire Kelly Anzalone to produce the rape video.

"This money will allow them to be more creative," Moore said. "If they want to make a video, they can. If they want to write and produce a play, that is also a possibility."

Tuesday's training and presentation is not open to the public, but any organization interested in having the Peer Educators present to its group can call 879-2034.

-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210 or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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