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A Call to Action: Show Kids you Care!

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Joined: Feb 18 2008
Location: Torrance, CA
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    Posted: Feb 19 2008 at 12:44am
A call to action: Show kids you care

By Nancy Mayerson
February 17, 2008

When we see a young child lost at the mall, we rush to offer aid. Why don't we seek to aid older children who lose their way?

As hearts go out to the families suffering from the tragic shooting at E.O. Green Middle School, our community is soul-searching over how such an event could happen, especially among children. We ask ourselves questions about the children's backgrounds, their parents, their motivation, socioeconomic standing, the school's security, and on and on. The answers may satisfy curiosity or cause metal detectors to be installed, but this won't lead to change.

And so we arrive at the question, "What can be done to prevent such tragedies?" There is good news: There is an answer. It is proved effective and is uncomplicated. We need to care more about all children in our community.

The Search Institute has conducted numerous studies of individuals who overcame horrendous situations to become high-achieving adults who are caring, productive, good citizens and self-sacrificing leaders. Why did they succeed? Why were they not angry or hateful? How did they achieve so much despite multiple barriers and all their disadvantages?

Somewhere along the line, someone showed them care and tolerance and built their sense of self-worth. Someone believed in them when they could not believe in themselves.

This is a call to action.

Make kids our community's top priority. Show them and tell them that you value them as people. You can by saying "hi" or waving to children. These small gestures start building assets for kids. They demonstrate that kids are important and deserve to be acknowledged.

Other personal attitudes, skills and actions that can help build assets for our youths include:

— Listening.

— Finding the good in others.

— Handling conflict peacefully.

— Being open and honest.

— Seeing past appearance of hair and clothing styles.

— Asking kids for their help.

— Speaking out for children.

— Being available to kids.

— Respecting differences, practicing tolerance.

— Modeling positive values.

— Setting boundaries and limits.

— Affirming and encouraging young people.

— Mentoring youth.

Everyone can build assets among children every day, with every encounter. Talk, listen, smile. Show you care.

Each adult in this community bears a responsibility to every child in our community. By making children our top priority, we help ensure a safe, civilized society with caring, compassionate people.

We can do this.

— Nancy Mayerson of Thousand Oaks is the board president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard & Port Hueneme.

This article was taken from The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard & Port Hueneme website.
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