City helps kids do a good turn

The Columbus Dispatch - Editorial Board

Columbus City Council has carved out $25,000 to help guide some of the city’s more vulnerable children into the right kind of “gang”: One that teaches American values such as helping other people at all times and being helpful, friendly, courteous, brave, thrifty — and always prepared.

Councilman Michael Stinziano sponsored an ordinance that teams the city with the Simon Kenton Council of the Boy Scouts of American and MY Project USA to launch Scout programs on the West Side that, while open to all, will target refugee and immigrant children in the Wedgewood neighborhood.

The city and scouts want to get kids into positive peer groups before they can be groomed by gangs.

Zerqa Abid, founder and director of MY Project USA, said that she hopes the Scouts will help “change minds from being a refugee to being a loyal, productive citizen.”

Boys ages 10 to 18 will be organized into packs or troops, and a co-ed venture for girls and boys in high school will begin in August.

The best way to prevent kids from falling into trouble is to keep them busy with productive activities. This effort will keep both the kids and community safer.