Commitment is the key to delivering the Deseret News for the six members of the Steve Nielsen family.
The Nielsens have delivered the Deseret News in their southwest Orem neighborhood for three years.Kathy Nielsen, mother of the four Nielsen children, said the paper route "started as a family project - a commitment."
The paper route was Dad's idea. Steve Nielsen said, "I wanted to teach the children to work, to have responsibility outside the home and earn some money."
The two oldest girls, Amy, 17, and Becky, 15, attend Mountain View High School in Orem. Mike is 12 and attends the sixth grade at Cherry Hill Elementary School, where his younger sister, 7-year-old Tammy, is in the second grade.
The Nielsens use the paper route as a teaching tool. Kathy Nielsen said they stress service. The Nielsen children are taught to deliver the papers at the same time each day to provide reliable service. They are expected to show courtesy to their customers by placing, not throwing, the newspapers on porches and by respecting yards.
Amy and Becky start the route when they return from school at 3 p.m. Mike and Tammy begin at 3:30 p.m., hopping on bikes when they return from school. Amy described the 4-mile, 87-stop route as "murderous" but likes the exercise she gets.
The paper route also teaches money management, Kathy Nielsen said. Each child places half of his or her earnings in a savings account. The children also contribute a portion to a "family fund" to pay for special family outings. And, each child has a spending fund.
"A paper route teaches you about responsibility," said Kathy Nielsen. "You're doing the job whether you want to or not."
By Pat Birkedahl
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The weather is beautiful down here. And the private concessionaires inside and outside the park are going full blast. The restrooms and visitors centers might be closed, but that's not the end of the world." - Gene Siler, an employee of Ruby's Inn outside Bryce National Park. (See story on page B1.)