Helping others while learning new skills


AMBOY – There is always something new and exciting happening at Teen Turf, where director Eileen Piper has been serving the youth of this community for many years.

Recently Megan Cheatham joined the effort at Teen Turf and is making a huge contribution to the youth that come there.

She is also learning new skills herself while she is there. Megan, from Ashton, recently returned home after spending four years at the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired at Jacksonville, Illinois. She learned many skills while she was there but is always learning and each day is an adventure.

On the day we visited, Meg and two of her friends, Sydney and Lexi, were in the kitchen with Flo Hamilton, the kitchen manager, and they were learning how to use a sharp knife. Each of the girls learned the proper handling of a sharp knife, blade pointed down while moving, and how to properly hold a knife while using it. Prior to wielding the knife, the girls were instructed how to place a wet dish cloth under their cutting board to prevent it from sliding. They proceeded to cut an onion with skills that were near perfect.

Meg is learning these and other skills while she is in the kitchen with Flo. She has mastered the art of making herself a peanut butter and banana sandwich and using the Keurig machine.

After spending an hour in the kitchen with Flo, Meg and her friends move to the upper level at Teen Turf where Meg tutors young readers.

Kylie was Meg’s student on Wednesday, she is in the first grade. She read the book “Grasshopper’s Gross Lunch” as Meg followed along on the Braille copy of the same book. When Kylie came across an unfamiliar word, Meg would help her to sound out the word and move on.

Meg’s patience and encouragement helps young readers to continue with confidence. She is currently working with six students over the summer to improve their reading skills.

Meg has always wanted to be a teacher and hopes to continue tutoring and helping young people learn and excel.