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Published: Sunday, March 27, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

It's the teen tech wizards' turn to teach

Adults who are all thumbs when it comes to gadgets got help Saturday

  • Gina Hines, 17, of Lake Stevens, helps John Carlin of Edmonds, holding phone, how to program speed dial numbers into his cell phone Saturday during th...

    Gina Hines, 17, of Lake Stevens, helps John Carlin of Edmonds, holding phone, how to program speed dial numbers into his cell phone Saturday during the gadget coaching held at the Mountlake Terrace Library.

  • Jo Sunderlage (right), of Lynnwood, reacts after figuring out a problem on her iPhone 3G with the help of volunteer Ruje Najaar, 17, of Snohomish, on ...

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    Jo Sunderlage (right), of Lynnwood, reacts after figuring out a problem on her iPhone 3G with the help of volunteer Ruje Najaar, 17, of Snohomish, on Saturday. Youth United brought together teens from all over Snohomish County to offer gadget coaching Saturday at the Mountlake Terrace Library.

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE -- Jo Sunderlage just wanted to get a couple of old programs off her iPhone, but she didn't know how to do it.
Sunderlage went to the Mountlake Terrace Library on Saturday and got some help. Within a few minutes, the programs were gone.
"Oh, yay!" she said gleefully as the programs disappeared.
Sunderlage, 60, of Lynnwood, was one of five technologically challenged people who sought help from tech-savvy teen-agers in a program at the library.
"It was so simple," she said with a chuckle. "I felt totally stupid."
She wasn't the only one who felt that way, but the student volunteers were glad to be of service.
"It just feels good when you help people," said Ruje Najaar, 17, of Snohomish, who assisted Sunderlage with her iPhone.
The second-annual event had teens at the ready for two hours Saturday afternoon for anyone who wanted help with an electronic gadget.
Sno-Isle Libraries worked with the United Way on the event. Dawn Rutherford, teen services coordinator for Sno-Isle, said she got the idea from other library systems.
Michelle Morris, manager of United Way Snohomish County's Youth United program, recruited teens for a day of general volunteering at the library, including providing help with the devices.
Thirteen teens showed up altogether. Some did tasks around the library while others helped people with the gadgets.
"It's good to give back to the community," said Tessa Benefield, 15, of Mukilteo, who attends Kamiak High School. She said she's done volunteer work at the Harbour Pointe Retirement Home, which included helping people with Wii games.
On Saturday she helped Pam Dotson, 51, of Everett with her cell phone.
Dotson said she knew how to use the basic functions on the phone but moved some things around by accident.
"I didn't know how not to do that or how to fix it," she said.
John Carlin, 68, of Edmonds, also got help with his cell phone.
"I know the basic uses but I didn't know how to do the recording of the numbers so I could speed dial it with one stroke," he said. "I've got one of the older, dumb phones."
Similar events are planned monthly at the Marysville Library through June. The next one is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. April 20 at the library, 6120 Grove St.
Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

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