And what a beautiful much-needed spring it is. The sun is out and shining (and shining longer, which is my most favourite part!), neighbours are singing, and me? Well, I am sitting here, surrounded by all this new life and new beginnings, and I think about what Thistleoaks' place is in all this new life. What is our role and goals in the community this year, and what new ones will emerge?
I’m sure that must strike you as funny - honestly, who sits around and thinks about their workplace's place in the community?? Well - this gal does! Building a sense of community is extremely important to me. Community fosters an environment in which all can thrive; it is essential to building a sense of belonging and connectedness. And connections is what it’s all about! When we are connected, we are stronger, healthier, and happier; these are the foundational cornerstones on which we want children to build their identify and self, and community plays a big role in that foundation. The positive impact that a sense of community provides each individual is a beautiful thing to experience.
A sense of belonging and connectedness helps children feel happier and cope better with life's challenges. It reduces the feeling of isolation, it is motivating and engaging, it inspires civic engagement, and it is critical for acceptance and understanding of all. When children are surrounded by a sense of community they are connected both to the their immediate surroundings and to the people within those surroundings. This creates a firm foundation of confidence and self-esteem, further connecting them to their own unique place in the world. And I feel like that is the one thing we are all looking for: our place in this world!
Wow! That can feel overwhelming - what is my place in a world this large?! But that’s the beauty of building a sense of community: it magically shrinks the world, leaving that feeling of overwhelming in the dust.
Now you might be asking yourself, “how can I engage in creating a sense of community with my family?” Great question! There are many ways to engage with the community at a level that works for you. Giving your time, your skills and your knowledge, collecting things for projects, or holding a door open for someone. Think about how you can connect with those around you; this is how we build a sense of community.
Join me as we work together to unify, engage, and build connections within our own community.
You might be reading and (hopefully) feeling inspired to connect with your own neighbourhood and community. Well, I have an exciting opportunity for you! June 1st, I am excited to announce, is going to be our 2nd Annual Backyard Cleanup and this year I have a twist…! In meeting some of our community goals, I have made this year's cleanup a “collaboration of communities”. I am excited to announce that Thistleoaks will be partnering with Appleby College to tackle our cleanup and I would like to invite you as well! Yes, you heard me right, you! I would like to invite the children, parents, families, and educators to join us on June 1st. We will be working all day from 8:00-4:00 (rain or shine) to clean up our backyard and paint our centre. Look for our signup sheets in the next few weeks around the centre, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can’t wait to see what else we have in store this year…. It just keeps getting better!