LHS students make Teddy bears for kids in crises

LACONIA – As part of the community outreach portion of the Jobs for America's Graduates, high school students joined city police and firefighters to give them some handmade Teddy bears made specifically for children involved in traumatice events.
Student Rose Therrier said the group of four, which also includes Cheyenne Noyes, Chelsey Parent and Skyla Mooney, said they came up with the idea when they were sitting around brainstorming.
She they they realized that many of the stuffed toy donations go to the larger children's hospitals – and that's good – but she said they decided local firefighters and police could benefit from having some toys.
"This is a really great thing you've done for us," said Fire Department Deputy Shawn Riley. Riley said the stuffed bears will come in handy for calming children who are involved in medical emergencies. He also said it can help a child better understand an emergency medical procedure.
"We can point to the place on the Teddy bear and explain that this is where we're going to touch them," he said.
Teddy bears and toys have always been an integral part of police work and Master Patrol Officer Ben Black said they are an invaluable tool for police to calm a child who has to come to the police station for whatever reason.
"Kids eyes really light up when they get one of these," Black said. "Anytime a child comes in for any situation whose family is involved in anything we want them to come away from the P.D. with something positive."
The four girls made two boxes of the stuffed animals – one for each department.
"Hopefully this project will influence people to help in their communities," said Chelsey.
"We also hope it will encourage other local students to join JAG," said Cheyenne.
Skyla said the students who are in JAG also participate in resume building, leadership programs and compete for points against other JAG Programs in the state.

Caption: (Stuffed toys 001) Members of the Jobs for America's Graduates or JAG Program at the Laconia High School display the handmade stuffed animals the crafted as part of their community service projects. From left to right are Rose Therrier, Cheyenne Noyes, Chesley Parent and Sklya Mooney. Helping them is Laconia Police Officer Kyle Jepsen.