It takes a village to raise a child – African Proverb.
It is obvious that parents, babysitters, siblings, and friends have a significant influence in a child’s life. What is less obvious is the influence that communities have on a child’s life. By community, I am referring to neighbors, church groups, sports teams and other peripheral groups that can shape their lives.
Parents want the best for their children watching their diets, making sure they attend school, and do their homework. Parents cannot do it alone. Kids need to have role models in their community to look up to and reinforce what their parents are teaching them. There are a lot of resources available to parents to build a healthy community around their children.
Parents can turn to church groups, local parenting groups, the YMCA, and groups like Theatre Action Project that offer after school programming, spring and summer camps, and community events. Another way to build community in a child’s life is by starting traditions with your children.
Make it your New Year’s Resolution to start a new tradition with your children. Traditions can be as simple as going to the story time at your public library each week, or as involved as serving in your local soup kitchen. The goal is to find groups that share your family values and supports the messages you are teaching your children.
Theatre Action Project is all about community. There are so many opportunities to get involved with people who will support and care about your children. TAP hosts fun family activities before and after Paramount shows such as Goodnight Moon, showing on January 24th. Keep up with TAP in the Community on our event calandar!
Coming up this week is TAP’s parade and tile making booth at First Night Austin – 2009. TAP’s theme this year is “The Neighborhood Project”. We’re asking the Austin community to look for beauty and room from improvement in their neighborhoods.
This is a great tradition to start with your family. Come participate in First Night Austin on December 31st and ring in the New Year with your community. You can create a tile about your neighborhood for our mural and march with us in our parade. We are meeting at 8th and Colorado at 4:30pm to get ready and we will get in parade formation at 6th and Congress at 5:30pm to prepare to march from 6pm to 7m.
Invite your neighbors and children’s friends and make it a party. The evening is a free family-friendly and alcohol-free public celebration, showcasing the unique culture of Austin through expressive, creative traditions of performing and visual arts in downtown Austin.
For more information on First Night Austin go to…
Have a Safe and Happy New Year!
Julie Flores (Parent/Teacher/Child Advocate/TAP Volunteer)