March 1, 2013 by Zee
Weekly (or Daily) Family Late Nights is one type of program.
Besides getting a child ready for school in the morning and out the door with your own agenda;
the hours that span from after school until bedtime can putting it mildly be unstimulating and at worst that time can be dangerous.
Instead of parents picking up children from afterschool programs when they left work, they would come and join their children at the center.
Families could join breakout groups to help with homework alongside Youth center assistants and tutors.
Tutors could even come in a conduct workshops on helping kids with homework, developing a homework routine at home, or with specific projects and subject matter.
Parents might join or create support groups or interest groups that meet during this time such as single dads groups, book circles or investing clubs.
After, families would be treated to an activity; possibly with light snacks.
There could be movie night,
board game night,
an youth exhibit or performance.
During special event nights there could be family competitions like “family feud” or obstacle courses.
The evening would conclude with dinner, served family style or in clusters.
The dinner could be a potluck, buffet style or
local restaurants/caterers/companies could contribute or sponsor a meal.
Families could be given dinner activities to help them interact in a relaxed way such as thinking questions where everyone gets a turn to share (anything from what did you learn today, to what would you do if you were being attacked by a swarm of bees).
Post dinner many families would be ready to go wash up their kids and put them to bed. Maybe others would stay and participate in a leisurely community walk or other wellness activity before heading home.
Programs like this leave space for true empowerment; this is the first step toward building long-term cohesive community.
Let’s crowdsource together to fund a cooperative family center!