Studies clearly demonstrate that youngsters who play sports can reap very positive results later in life.

Writing for the American Enterprise Institute, Scott Ganz and Kevin A. Hassett declare ...

"A growing body of research is showing the social and economic benefits of participation in youth sports to be surprisingly large and overwhelmingly positive.

"Other things being equal, if a kid plays sports, he will earn more money, stay in school longer and be more engaged in civic life."

The authors point to a study of "IQ and standardized test scores that finds the 'athlete premium' remains even after controlling for intelligence. In other words, if you take two kids who have the same IQ and put one in a sports program, he will have the better future.

"After controlling for factors such as age, educational attainment and income, (researchers) found that athletes are 13 percent more likely to be registered to vote, 14 percent more likely to watch the news and 8 percent more likely to be comfortable speaking in public ... and for publc speaking, the effect on females is twice as large ..."

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Speaking of sports, Tennis For Kids is about to start its 24th season.

Last summer, 1,885 children ages 7-16 participated in the free, five-week program at 19 locations in York County and two in Adams County, including Gettysburg.


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This year, TFK's free tennis lessons start June 23 and run through July 25 ... 9-11 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at most locations. Parents may register their children online at www.tennisforkidsyork.com or enroll them at any one of the following sites through July 21 ...

Farquhar Park, Penn Park, Dover Area High School, Dallastown Area High School, Jacobus, Loganville and Springfield Parks, Hallam Recreation Complex, Red Lion Area High School, South Western High School, Stewartstown Community Park, Spring Grove Area High School, Northeastern High School, York Suburban High School, York Suburban Middle School, Penn State York, Springettsbury Recreation Complex, York College, New Oxford High School and Gettysburg's Lincoln Elementary School.

At Northeastern and Dover, the days are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. At Stewartstown, the schedule is Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday June 23 through July 13.

TFK, honored by the USTA for excellence, is a non-profit supported mainly by businesses and individuals throughout the area.

In the words of Chrissy Snow, of Loganville ...

"Tennis For Kids is great! It definitely builds confidence, self-esteem and is a great social builder. My kids never liked sports at all. This free program opened a new door for us. Tennis For Kids and all its organizers are caring, devoted individuals, I cannot begin to thank them enough."

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St. Mary's is preparing for a visit from Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, recently installed as leader of the 15-county Diocese of Harrisburg. He'll be consecrating the church's new altar at the 5:30 p.m. Mass June 28.

By the way, enjoy music, dancing and games 5-9 p.m. this Friday and noon-9 p.m. Saturday at St. Mary's Cultural Festival.

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New Eagle Scouts ...

Luke Miller, Troop 30, St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Spring Grove ... son of Brenda Miller. Project: Cleared debris from the horse trail at Codorus State Park.

Matthew Wentz, Troop 205, Grace United Methodist Church, New Freedom ... son of Brian Wentz. Project: Rebuilt a bridge at Rocky Ridge County Park.

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"When thunder roars, go indoors" ... that's the advice from the Area Agency on Aging, explaining ...

"A safe shelter is a building with electricity and/or plumbing, or a metal-topped vehicle with windows closed.

"Picnic shelters, dugouts, small buildings without plumbing or electricity are not safe."

More guidelines ...

Stay off corded phones. You may use cell or cordless phones.

Avoid plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower or wash dishes.

Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.

Columns by Hank Merges, a local writer, appear Tuesday and Thursday in The York Dispatch. Reach Merges at hmerges@yorkdispatch.com or 854-1575.