Nine child leaders from Plymouth, MA, who named themselves “The Creative Kids” received Presidential Service Awards for their community service this summer. The children were empowered to bring families together for a day of fun at an event they created and led called “Into Our World Day” on August 23, 2008, at JunglePlex. Lynne Richardson, proud mother of Shane & Ainsley Richardson, had the idea to coach a group of children in creating such an event when she realized that the most important gift she could give to her children was herself. “With the many demands on parents today,” Lynne said, “our time can seem like the hardest gift to give, yet when we choose to play, we connect and communicate with our children in a way that greatly impacts their self-esteem and confidence.” Liz Parsons, a teacher in Duxbury and supporter of the Reggio Emilia approach to learning (where children are honored and respected for their potential, capabilities and humanity) was also a coach on the project. Parents Erin Murphy and Sue Breault contributed in extraordinary ways with their dedicated support.
Into Our World Day was a huge success with over 200 people in attendance. The day cost only $5 per family thanks to the support of JunglePlex (http://www.jungleplex.com/) and included sports, games, arts & crafts, face painting, a moonwalk, raffle prizes donated by 23 local sponsors, and entertainment showcasing Brett Outchcunis (a.k.a. “Ooch”) of Ninepoints Entertainment (http://www.ninepoints.net/), a captivating Yo-Yo professional and life skills coach for children. Parents reconnected with their inner child, left their to-do lists behind and focused on truly “being” with their children. The kids had a blast playing and competing with their parents, and many families expressed interest in future events!
The Creative Kids were proud of the difference they made for families and are considering other ways to give back to the community. They donated proceeds to Autism Speaks which funds autism research & awareness. If you are interested in unlocking the self-expression and leadership skills of children, or if you’d like to find out how your child can get involved, please contact Lynne Richardson at Lmrich@verizon.net. If you are interested in learning how “Ooch” can make a difference in your child’s school, he can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Creative Kids (except for little Ainsley Richardson in the front row) were or are students of Indian Brook Elementary School - the first (and so far only) Take Pride School in Massachusetts.