WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER: BUILDING A VILLAGE FOR YOUR FAMILY
Strong, nurturing communities help children thrive and succeed. They give kids a sense of belonging, an opportunity for new friendships, and practice in getting along with others. Strong communities give kids other adults to seek out when they need help and provide a lifelong network of support. Use the summer months to create or reinforce that all-important village for your family by connecting anew with folks in your local community. Whether you organize a National Night Out event, welcome new neighbors, or lend a hand to someone whose child is ill, your efforts will build support and make us all feel less alone.
-Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
HOW TO CREATE CARING COMMUNITIES
Make a Difference...
Here are fun, simple ways to connect with others and create a support system for you and your children, right in your own neighborhood.
Do you have neighbors who are struggling with illness or other difficulties? Heap on attention and support by doing yard work, meals, or babysitting -- or dropping off cards or flowers.
- Establish a family ritual to welcome new neighbors. You could deliver a homemade treat, a stack of menus from your favorite carry-out places and restaurants, flowers from your garden, an invitation to a BBQ, or a housewarming basket filled with local specialties. Or simply tack a welcome note on their door.
Talk About It...
Chat with your kids about who makes up your community. Then discuss what makes your community strong and how your family can help nurture those connections.
- Walk or bike to explore your neighborhood and beyond. Have each family member describe the aspects they especially appreciate, their favorite building, and the sounds/smells they like or dislike.
- Talk to your children about whom they can go to if they need help and how valuable it is to have trusted neighbors and friends.
- Have each family member share what they believe would make your neighborhood and community stronger.
- Brainstorm how your family can bring more people together, and create an action plan to execute your family's best idea.
Learn About It...
Find books that celebrate community under the heading "Strengthening Community" in DGT's popular resource list.
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members."
-Coretta Scott King, American author, activist, and civil rights leader