Ice cream social to celebrate the holidays

BY RAVEN JOY SHONEL, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — The Thaise Educational and Exposure Tours (TEET) held a holiday ice cream social for program members and their families Fri., Dec. 18 at Enoch Davis Center.

Instead of the monthly enrichment program, which teaches at-risk youth from six to 17 about proper etiquette, life skills and features guess speakers such as City Councilmember Wengay Newton and Director of Urban Affairs Nikki Gaskin-Capehart, this month’s meeting featured ice cream, healthy snacks, not so healthy snacks, games and prizes.

TEET’s Executive Director Teresa Clove and Program Manager Barbara Burnett decided to have the party so that they could celebrate not only with the kids, but with the parents also.

“This is a way to keep the families celebrating together and keeping us connected with the parents,” said Burnett. “This is a thank you for trusting us to help their children.”

The mission of TEET is to empower, educate, enhance and improve the quality of life for youth through counseling, mentoring, enrichment classes, tutoring, college and exposure tours.  They want to bring out the best in each youth by elevating their minds through education and exposure so they can realize anything in life is possible.

Sponsored by The Department of Juvenile Justice and the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, TEET’s goal is to work with the youth to reduce or eliminate high school dropout, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco use, juvenile crime and sexually transmitted diseases.

Additionally, TEET arranges guided college tours for their older students. The tours are aligned with students’ breaks so that children do not have to miss school days.

The college tours are usually in state but can be out of state as well. Private donors help fund the field trips. On the last tour, the kids caught a train to visit a campus in Savannah, Ga. While touring a campus, Clove said the students will also often visit nearby museums or art galleries.

But last Friday, program members along with their families were happy just to tour the snack table. A good time was had by all.

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