The power of PAX

By Rob Treynor

February 28, 2014

Tootles are the opposite of tattles.

This was the message brought to the Plain City Village Council recently by Sherry Baldwin of Madison County Family & Children First Council, and Lori Dodge-Dorsey and Lori Thomas from the Department of Job & Family Services.

“This year, we did a comprehensive needs assessment in conjunction with the health department and Madison County Hospital,” Baldwin told council. “We joined forces and looked at social services and health care needs.”

One of the projects that issued forth from that needs assessment was a program called “Tootles.”

A tootle is a slip of paper where one writes praise for another person. The pre-printed forms have a line for the name of the recipient along its top; below that, it reads “You are a great PAX leader because you:”; below that, are check boxes which read, 1) Worked hard to get something done, 2) Resolved a conflict, 3) Shared Encouragement, and 4) Created Beauty (music, art or writing).

“A single slip of paper from a teacher to a student, written about something positive, improves the child’s ability better than a visit to a mental health therapist,” Baldwin said.

“It sounds a bit Pollyanna, doesn’t it?” Dodge-Dorsey said. “But it works.

“When someone is already addicted to drugs, there’s not as much we can do. But here, with Tootles, we’re taking a long-term, upstream approach to prevent future problems,” Dodge-Dorsey said.

As Lori Thomas passed out blank Tootles to council members, she said, “Tootles really works. And what’s great is that this program is low-cost and almost no-cost.”

The program, first designed for kids, is now being extended for use in the rest of the community.

Tootles are just a portion of a program called Community PAX.

A free and public informational meeting on Community PAX will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 20 at 200 Midway St. in London. Lunch will be provided at the meeting.

Reservations for the meeting are required by Friday, March 14. Interested parties can call (740) 852-5343 or e-mail Sherry Baldwin at to RSVP.

In other business Monday evening, Village Administrator Kevin Vaughn told council that the cold weather has not been kind to Plain City’s infrastructure.

“We’ve had three water main breaks in the last two weeks. Also, we’re on pothole patrol. We’ve been filling potholes every day.”

Vaughn advised residents, “If you see a pothole, give us a call.”

Residents that wish to report a pothole may call the village at (614) 873-3527.

Also on Monday, Jim Moore reported that the Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District were preparing to sell their 2005 ambulance.

“If you want to get into the medic business, now’s a good time,” Moore said.

Rob Treynor may be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 19 or via Twitter @robtreynor.