Dr. Peter Benson (Search Institute) suggested “kids need to have relationships with caring adults outside of their families, including neighbors, their friends’ parents, program leadership and other community members in order to grow up to be healthy, caring, and responsible adults.”

    If you are not able to commit to becoming a TeamMate, there are other ways you can show your support for the youth in our community.
   Consider incorporating a few of the following tips into your daily routines to being building relationships and impacting lives.
  1. Text a message of encouragement or a simple “Good morning! I hope you have a wonderful day!” (If you don’t text, ask a student for help!)
  2. Offer to tutor a youth through the school or library.
  3. Organize informal weekend or evening activities with kids in your neighborhood.
  4. Plan and prepare a meal with one of your own children or grandchildren and invite a friend to join!
  5. Ask a young person this question: “What book are you reading now?” Consider starting a book club with young people!
  6. Contact the school to find out if they need volunteers or chaperones for special events.
  7. Whenever you get a chance, ask a teenager for an opinion on something you are struggling with.
  8. Ask a young person to give you a hand with a home project.
  9. Use Facebook, Twitter, and other social-networking platforms to communicate in genuine ways. A word of encouragement is worth a lot in any medium.
  10. Make a family “business card” for your household. Include contact information and a message about how you would like to connect (gardening, going for walks, etc.). Pass out to neighbor families with kids!
   The old African proverb that said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” is especially true in today’s society with high levels of mobility and poverty. On behalf of Garden County Schools, if you are already a TeamMate mentor, breakfast volunteer, or stepping up in another way to connect with our youth…THANK YOU for making the difference in the life of a child!

-Dr. Paula Sissel,

Superintendent/Elementary Principal