Thumbs up: To the 16 local students honored at the Turnaround Achievement Awards program last week at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in York Township.
Sponsored by the York Area Bowling Proprietors Association, the awards were created 17 years ago to recognize one student from each York County district who has managed to make a significant, positive change in his or her life, according to Jim Plessinger, coordinator of the event.
One of those honored was Todd Why, an 18-year-old who went from being a fighting, trouble-making Dallastown Area High School freshman into a soon-to-be graduate who has earned the respect of teachers, officials and fellow students.
"I realized I needed to grow up and stop acting stupid and stop getting into fights," said Why, who plans to do automotive studies this fall at WyoTech campus in Blairsville, Indiana County.
His motivation? His 2-year-old son Aiden and fiancee Stephanie Garcia.
Stephanie, 17, also a senior at Dallastown Area High School, said she's proud of Why's accomplishments. She said she plans to study nursing at Harrisburg Area Community College and is glad she and Why are working toward a better future for their son.
"I consider myself lucky," she said. "I'm thankful (Why) stuck around and grew up as he did."
Thumbs up: Kids know a thing or two about fun.
So it makes sense York City officials are picking the brains of elementary school students as they prepare to renovate Penn Park and add two playgrounds.
Last week, students from St. Patrick Catholic School told adults what they'd like in a playground and then voted on professional drawings. Students at McKinley Elementary School also submitted ideas and will vote soon.
More than likely, the winning designs will be constructed, said Tom Landis, director of recreation for the city.
Landis is working with Bring On Play, a group of community activists turned playground artists who have made it their mission to renovate one city park every year.
They're finalizing plans for their biggest project yet -- the complete makeover of 10-acre Penn Park in the heart of York City.
Bring On Play aims to build two playgrounds at Penn Park -- one for 2- to 5-year-olds, designed to encourage creativity and imaginative play, and another for older kids who prefer physical challenges.