Being Part of the Village
Hillary Clinton in 1996 wrote a book called, “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us.” In it, she offered her vision for the children of America. She focused on the impact individuals and groups outside the family have, for better or worse, on a child’s well-being, and promotes a society that meets all of a child’s needs.
Reflecting on my years as a mother of young children, I recall how important it was having that network of help available to me – family, neighbors and friends. Now, watching my son raise his daughter – my granddaughter – I’m reminded of the importance that network played in my life and realize the value that our family – my husband and sons – has in assisting him in that journey.
And it’s not an easy journey.
Hillary’s observation that it takes a village is pretty close to hitting the mark. Our children today have so many challenges that we didn’t have growing up, though I do believe that each generation is challenged in some way. But society as a whole – or at least here in the Crescenta Valley – is eager to step up to offer assistance. For example, parents can educate themselves via the resources offered by the CV Drug & Alcohol Prevention Coalition. In addition to regular parent education workshops, the coalition is hosting a community and family summit tonight, Thursday, at CV High School’s MacDonald Auditorium.
The goal of the summit is to present the 40 Developmental Assets, those “building blocks” identified by the Search Institute as fostering healthy development – known as Developmental Assets – that help young children grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. I think it’s a good idea to step back every now and then to assess the needs of our children and how we’re addressing them. The summit is one of those opportunities. I hope you’ll consider attending the summit to learn the impact you can make on our community’s children whether as a parent, grandparent, teacher, friend, etc. to help them thrive. There are plenty of opportunities, so learn how to capitalize on them.
The auditorium is located at 4400 Ramsdell Ave. in La Crescenta and the summit begins at 7 p.m. And it’s free.
Another way that our children can thrive is through service.
I had the chance a week ago Tuesday to speak to the Crescenta Cañada Rotary Club. The motto of the club is well known: Service Above Self. The focus of the Rotary Club is to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.
They invited me to speak at their weekly meeting on the Crescenta Valley Weekly (one of my most favorite subjects). While there, I learned that, like many service organizations, they are looking for new blood, new people to come into the club with new energy and ideas. How perfect for our young people!
As president of Prom Plus, I know how active our Prom Plus Club members are in volunteering in the community. PPC is the on-campus student part of Prom Plus. These kids are incredible and can be found at many community events, helping out by setting up, cleaning up or assisting in whatever is needed.
As adults, we need to set a good example for our children that service to community is expected in order to be part of the community. Traditional service clubs like the Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions are just a few of those opportunities.
Our kids will gain the self-respect that comes from being part of something bigger than themselves, and self-respect is a primary factor in creating a healthy person.
Thank you to the Rotarians for hosting me – I had fun and hope to return soon.