Youth

BGMS cheerleaders share the spirit with girls teams

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Two-four-six-eight, Bobcat cheerleaders show they appreciate girl athletes too. For the first time at Bowling Green City Schools, the middle school cheerleaders recently chanted on the sidelines for the seventh and eighth grade girls basketball teams. After only cheering for boys games in the past – cheering for girls seemed natural. The cheerleaders had planned to root for their female classmates a couple weeks ago – but got snowed out. “When the first game was canceled, everyone was pretty bummed,” said cheerleader Audrey Nester. So that made last week’s game even sweeter. “I feel like everyone was excited. We’re like friends with them.” Fellow cheerleader Emma Ferguson agreed. “Sometimes the girls say they never have as much of an audience,” Emma said. “They were really excited.” Cheerleaders Audrey Nester and Emma Ferguson Even though the stands weren’t full – (remember this is seventh and eighth grade basketball) – the gym was loud with chanting and cheering. “It’s a different atmosphere,” Emma said. “It’s a ‘we support each other’ atmosphere.” Melanie Ferguson, Emma’s mom and a middle school teacher, said the tradition has always been for cheerleaders to root for the boys teams. “That’s just been the thing,” Ferguson said. “But slowly, some schools are changing.” Some of the girls basketball players were actually unsure about the added pressure this might bring. “Some were nervous. It will be loud,” they told Ferguson. In preparation for the game, the girls basketball team made goodie bags for the cheerleaders, and the cheerleaders made cookies for the team, she said. “We love supporting all the sports,” said Jordan Betz, the cheerleading coach. “Our girls love to cheer,” and cheering is their sport, Betz said. “This is our chance to show them we are athletes, too.” Cheerleaders share the spirit at girls basketball game. Basketball player Audrey Geyman said the presence of the cheerleaders made the team feel good. “It’s like pretty amazing to have them here, and not just for the boys. They care,” Audrey said. As he stood on the sidelines cheering on the girls basketball…

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BGSU professor helps young people find their voice to protest gun violence

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Young people singing their original songs about the impact of gun violence and the desperate need for a change took the stage at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco recently. Their songs and others’ are part of a new album called “Raise Your Voice: The Sound of Student Protest.” The 11 tracks came from students across the United States, performing as soloists or in groups, from hip-hop to rock to spoken word to voice and piano. They are united in their insistence that gun violence has to stop. The impetus for the album came from Dr. Katherine Meizel, an associate professor of musicology in the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts. With the help of the Little Village Foundation, she found a way to preserve those voices and share the students’ message. “The project has two goals: to encourage young people to vote and to raise money for gun safety,” Meizel said. Proceeds from the album will be donated to the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety organization, which works to end gun violence, create safer communities and assist victims of gun violence. “Raise Your Voice: The Sound of Student Protest” is available at Grounds For Thought, for a discounted price of $16.50. For each album sold, $15 will go to Everytown for Gun Safety (https://everytown.org). The album is available for download and streaming on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and Google Play. “It’s important for young people to feel they can make a difference, and these students are demonstrating that in a really powerful, beautiful way,” Meizel said. “One of the reasons I’m so impressed with this movement is that they don’t imagine they can’t make a difference; it’s absolutely clear to them they can make a difference, and they are doing it. They don’t sit back and say, ‘My voice doesn’t count.’ They are making it count. “The students have different ideas about what reform should look like, but they all want to be safe in school and they all want to help heal people who have been harmed. They want to tell their representatives…


Tickets available now for HYT’s Silly Goose

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Award-winning Horizon Youth Theatre is proud to present Silly Goose, written and directed by Keith Guion, October 26th and 27th at 7 p.m. and October 28 at 2 p.m. at Otsego High School. According to its author, Silly Goose is the life story of a goose named Silvia who finds herself in three separate fairy tale adventures. As one of The Young Goslings, she and her mother and siblings have to contend with a determined fox who wants to eat them all. A mysterious man named Channer builds an iron house to protect the geese from the fox, and the fox tries several ways to trick them into opening the door so he can get at them.When Silvia is a bit older, Channer takes her to join the royal flock of geese at King Delroy’s palace. There, she meets The Goose Girl, a sad and lonely maid with a terrible secret that she cannot divulge to a human soul. So she tells Silvia, and Silvia,, with some guidance from Channer, helps the Goose Girl achieve her happy ending. After that adventure, Silvia and Channer form a partnership and travel from kingdom to kingdom helping other people achieve their happy endings and punishing the evil people who stand in their way. At some point, Silvia becomes The Golden Goose who is found by a young lad who travels to the castle with an assortment of people stuck to the goose and each other, thanks to Channer’s magic, and when the princess sees this odd parade, she laughs for the first time in years. So Silvia and Channer achieve a happy ending for the young lad and the princess. But what about Silvia’s own happy ending? Where will she find that? Is her life one wild goose chase after another? And what is it with all these goose idioms anyway?  The play features 33 student actors and crew members ages 6 to 14 from several area schools including Bowling Green Public (and St. Al’s, BG Christian, BG Montessori and Sleek Academy); Perrysburg, Rossford, and Otsego. The rest of the production team:…


Distracted driving – simulator teaches safety behind the wheel

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   With no warning, a car strays into the neighboring lane. “Is this not Bowling Green,” said Sandy Wiechman, Wood County Safe Communities coordinator. “You really have to pay attention.” The driver manages to avoid a collision, but seconds later, a dog runs into the street. She slams on the brakes, but it’s too late. “She just killed a dog,” Wiechman said. In this instance the dog and the driver are fine, since the crash occurred on Wood County Safe Communities’ distracted driving simulator. The simulator gives drivers an idea of the distractions out on the road, without the threat of injuries. The “driver” sits behind the steering wheel, with control of the wheel, the gas pedal and the brake. But there is much the driver has no control over. “You’ve got distractions all over the place,” Wiechman said. There’s a soccer ball that rolls out on the street, fire trucks approaching, construction cones, sun glaring into the windshield, school buses stopping, dogs and cats dashing into the road, pedestrians and bicyclists. And then there are the distractions inside the vehicle. There’s an annoying passenger who keeps asking the driver to make a call or text for him. In Wood County, about 4.5 percent of car crashes are blamed on driver distraction. In 2017, drivers reported the following distractions: Cell phone, 25; texting or emailing, 5; other electronic communication device, 7; electronic devices such as navigation devices, DVD player or radio, 39; others inside the vehicle, 99; and external distractions outside the vehicle, 84. Wiechman said the distractions go far beyond texting. Some people try eating lunch, check out the neighbor’s yard, or look to see if they know the bicyclist as they pass. “I refuse to do it just on texting. There are just so many things that can happen,” she said. “You never know when a kid is going to dart out into traffic,” Wiechman said. “One time can ruin your life and someone else’s life.” Even conversation in the car can be distracting. “You just have to pay 100 percent…


HYT musical looks back, but not far, at being 13

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Being 13 is hard. Maybe singing and dancing about it makes it better. The Horizon Youth Theatre is staging the Jason Robert Brown musical “13: The Musical” this weekend at the Otsego High auditorium, Thursday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.  and Sunday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. (http://bgindependentmedia.org/tickets-available-now-for-hyts-13-the-musical/) The cast of teen actors are not far removed from those troublesome years. The script by Dan Elish and Robert Horn plays heavily on the social aspects of being in junior high. There’s nary an adult mentioned, save for the lead character’s mother, and the off-stage voice of a rabbi. This is all about the kids, and their relationships with their peers and their own emerging personalities. The musical opens with Evan (Thomas Long) singing about turning 13, when everything changes. He’s looking forward to his bar mitzvah which he envisions as a wild party with the hottest DJ in the city and dancing. Then he learns his parents are divorcing, and he and his mother are moving to Appleton, Indiana, where he knows no one. Who will come to his bar mitzvah now? Certainly Patrice (Terra Sloane) his new neighbor who befriends him, and he wants the in-crowd led by quarterback Brett (Isaac Douglass). And there lies the conflict on which the whole plot hinges. Patrice, a girl who thinks for herself, is an outcast, and if she goes then none of the “cool” kids will attend, or at least so sayeth alpha boy-child Brett. All this leads to about 90 minutes of navigation through the circles of middle school hell. The hierarchy is familiar — the jocks and cheerleaders and the nerds. The script keeps the divisions simple and clear. Evan, who is both determined and quite confused, has to be on one side or the other, as much as he tries in his awkward almost 13-year-old way to straddle them. He ingratiates himself to Brett by suggesting how he can get close enough to Kendra (Anne Weaver) to get some “tongue.” The idea is to go to a horror…


Tickets available now for HYT’s “13 the Musical”

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Award-winning Horizon Youth Theatre is proud to present Jason Robert Brown’s 13 the Musical October 4th and 6th at 7:00 pm and October 7th at 2:00 pm at Otsego High School. Paraphrasing from Music Theatre International’s website, 13, which is celebrating its tenth year, is a musical about fitting in, and (of course) standing out. Geek… poser… jock… beauty queen… wannabe: these are the labels that can last a lifetime. In the story by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, Evan Goldman is unexpectedly plucked from his fast-paced, preteen New York City life and plopped into a sleepy Indiana town following his parents’ divorce. Surrounded by a new array of small town – and sometimes small minded – middle school students, he needs to establish his place in the popularity pecking order. Can he situate himself on a comfortable link of the food chain… or will he dangle at the end with the freaks and nerds? Directed by Cassie Greenlee, the musical features 13 students ages 12-17 from several area schools including Bowling Green. The rest of the production team: Kat Knoell, stage manager; Tim Barker, choreographer; Tyler Strayer, music director; Kay Kleingers, technical director; and Meghan Koesters, assistant director. Cast list: Evan – Thomas Long Patrice – Terra Sloane Archie – M Clifford Brett – Isaac Douglass Lucy – Scarlet Frishman Kendra – Anne Weaver Eddie – Bob Walters Malcolm – Gavin Miller Simon – Eli Marx Ritchie – Aubrey Evans Charlotte – Rose Walters Molly – Whitney Bechstein Cassie – Alexandra Meade Though the musical is about teenagers, the stories that come to life here are ageless, the emotions they explore timeless, the laughter and the memories they provide priceless. Otsego High School is only seven minutes from downtown BG. Come enjoy the singing, dancing, and PG-13 humor… and leave the little ones at home this time! Bring them to HYT’s Silly Goose October 26-28. Tickets available now for both shows on Horizon Youth Theatre’s website. Prices for 13 are $10.00 student / senior and $13.00 adult.


Artists from kindergarten through seniors invited to submit work for Animals 4 Animals exhibit

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council and Four Corners Center will be hosting Artists 4 Animals 5 at the Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main Street, with an opening reception from 4:30-6:30 pm .on Friday, November 9. Interested artists can find information about the show and how to sign up on the Bowling Green Arts Council website, www.bgartscouncil.com. Artists of all ages, kindergarten through adult, will be exhibiting their animal- themed work in the show, which is free and open to the public, during regular Four Corners hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Exhibit of all artists can be viewed through November 28. The show features selected top winners in each age category as well as best domestic and wild animal. The winning images will be reproduced on note cards that available for purchase at the Four Corners Center and other Bowling Green venues. Sales of the cards will benefit the Wood County Humane Society and the Bowling Green Arts Council.