Two thousand and seventeen thank you’s to Lt. Kris Sell and her 2017 Year of Kindness Committee members! Their vision and efforts really activated our community to be more thoughtful and compassionate. Kindness DOES make a difference!
R.O.C.K. Juneau (Raising Our Children with Kindness) is continuing the kindness celebration by hosting a Year of Kindness for Kids during 2018.
R.O.C.K. Juneau is a new collaborative in town committed to substantive improvement in Juneau’s vision and action to build sufficient and equitable access to resources for a healthy childhood and adolescence.
Kindness is more than ‘being nice.’ Kindness for Kids is about building strong families which in turn builds a stronger Juneau. We believe in a community where every young person feels loved, equipped and empowered.
R.O.C.K. Juneau’s work encompasses building intentional cultural healing and safety, ensuring families have strong social supports, access to a full spectrum of mental and physical health services, and uniting our community in reducing adverse childhood experiences.
Each month we are highlighting the inspiring and successful programs, events and efforts of a particular sector of young people. In addition we’ll be sharing specific needs or gaps of that group.
We’re inviting everyone in Juneau to continue wonderful acts of kindness, with particular emphasis for our young people! Together, we can make a difference! Investing in our kids will pay tremendous dividends in building a healthier, kinder and more successful community.
In January, R.O.C.K. Juneau focused on infants and newborns. We visited with REACH Infant Learning Program about their program for families with kids ages birth to three that have existing or potential developmental delays. The program is connected to the Juneau community and participates in and encourages events specifically for the birth to three age group such as the annual Baby Fair, Baby Toddler Time at Bartlett Regional Hospital and Library Story Time. They have strong connections with their families as well as pediatricians in the community and they offer free developmental screenings on their website: www.reachilp.org.
R.O.C.K. Juneau also connected with the Parents as Teachers program which is a home visiting program for families with young children. Once or twice a month, the parent educators visit families in their homes to provide positive parenting support, increase parent knowledge of their child’s development and improve parenting practices. In addition to home visits, they also coordinate monthly Group Connections where families in the program can meet and connect with each other. Based on survey results from parents exiting the program, there is a significant increase in understanding of child development, increased ability to deal with stresses of parenting and life in general and an increased ability to meet their child’s social and emotional needs.
In January, the SE Alaska United Way AmeriCorps Program supported newborns in need. They collected diapers and baby formula to donate to local organizations with children in need including St. Vincent de Paul’s and Love INC. But the need doesn’t end when the drive is over! Donate diapers to these agencies to help them keep their shelves stocked.
Now it’s February, so keep an eye out in the newspapers, on social media and on the radio ways to be kind to toddlers! We will highlight special events, such as family nights at the turf and other toddler centered programs such as the Dad’s n’ Kiddos play group and Toddler Time at the library. Also we will discuss the need for child care for young children in Juneau with current childcare providers in town.
If you’d like to participate and spread kindness to the infants and toddlers in our community, try some of these ideas: Offer to bring a meal to a family with a new baby, or ask if you can run load of laundry, or run a few errands. If you don’t know any families with new babies, donate diapers to a local agency!
Check out our 100 + 18 ways to be kind to kids, on our website, ROCKJuneau.org. Follow and like us on Facebook and Instagram (ROCKJuneau)…and most of all, share your acts of kindness with #ROCKJuneau.
Tayler Shae, Early Literacy Outreach Coordinator and Becky Roth, R.O.C.K. Juneau Coordinator, they can be contacted at ROCKJuneau@gmail.com