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Young Americans need host families



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January 26, 2011 - Young Americans are coming to town, and they're hoping Lake Orion residents will open their hearts and their homes while they're here.

"We need six or seven more host families," said Karen Appledorn, a Lake Orion parent and staunch supporter of Young Americans.

The organization, a non-profit group whose members teach music, dance and performance to young people around the world, is based in California.

Each year, the Young Americans conduct workshops with students of all ability levels. Teachers and administrators participate, as well.

According to the group's website, some 45 Young American teacher-performers lead each Music Outreach Tour, encouraging and teaching participants by example, using a "unique method that goes beyond language and cultural bounds."

Appledorn said her daughter Kate has participated in the three-day workshop several times, and loved it.

But, she explains, it's more than a fun event.

"The first year, she had (school) goals to work on during the summer," Appledorn said.

When Kate finished the workshop, her mom noticed something different. Kate was 'just beaming.'

"When she went back to school her teacher said 'What did you do to her? She's so self-confident.'"

The Young Americans, who have no political or religious agenda, arrive in Lake Orion Feb. 9, with the workshop scheduled to begin the following day. The event wraps on Saturday, and parents and others are treated to a show.

Appledorn, who's helping coordinate host families again this year, said she's always impressed with what the students accomplish.

"To think they only have three days to learn five songs and dances," she said. "It's so cool to watch them do it so well."

Little is required of host families, Appledorn said, and the payoff is a rewarding experience for the whole family.

"They can take in one student, or several, depending on how much bed and bathroom space they have available," she said. "Maybe allow them to do some laundry and give them food."

Dinners are provided, she added - families just need to supply lunches and snacks.

The workshop takes place at the CERC Building Thursday, Feb 10 - Saturday, Feb 12

A $75 fee includes t-shirt. For more details, see page 4 of the current LOCS Community Education brochure for more details, and check out www.youngamericans.org for more information about Young Americans.

Interested in hosting? Contact Karen Appledorn at Appledorn@msn.com or Christine Carlson at chris99@comcast.net

Lake Orion Review Editor
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