Are You a Community Helper?

We are all important members of our community, and community is important for a lot of reasons. Being a part of a community teaches children life lessons, like asking for help when needed, honouring individual abilities and contributions, and community fosters a sense of belonging.

Community emphasizes that we are a part of something bigger than just ourselves, and provides an opportunity for kids to learn how to communicate and to get along with a variety of people, not just their peers. Through these relationships, children can also discover more about who they are themselves.

Last week and into this week, Melissa from Early Start coordinated visits from a group of various community helpers. Some of them were our own CGS family members! We learned what mining is, and about running a restaurant, too. The kids were able to decorate and individualize their our own chef’s hat!

The Early Starts listened to an Occupational Therapist and were able to touch and try some of the medical aids that maybe they’ve seen before, but didn’t know their purpose.

Communities can also teach children how to rely on others and ask for assistance when needed. We learned about firefighting and safety from our local Toronto Fire and Police Services. In the context of emergency situations, it’s important to prepare kids to recognize and trust community helpers who are trained to serve and protect like firefighters, doctorsnurses, and police.

And it was pretty cool to see and touch so many of the tools they use each day. Our Early Starts even got a chance to climb inside the giant fire truck and the police vehicle!

Spending time with our community helpers can boost your child’s self-confidence and their ability to converse and interact with others who work together to make our community a safer place for everyone.  

Help guide your child towards a healthy relationship with community helpers through leading by example. How you respond when you encounter a community helper will influence how our children interact with them, too. Greet the store clerk, the police officer, crossing guard, or mail carrier. Rather than expressing fear or hesitation for doctor or dentist visits, emphasize how much better they make us feel instead.

Our children are paying attention to us and our actions make a BIG difference. Next time you’re concerned about providing too much screen time, or your child’s ability to show empathy, redirect your energy instead and work together to create a thank you note for someone in your community; send a card to the police station; visit your local firehouse or seniors home to bring a smile. Your impact will be felt by others and within your own heart.

You may not consider yourself a “community helper”, but each one of us contributes to the health of our community and the relationship we have amongst others in it. Thank you Early Start Team for making these visits so remarkable!

Check out our social media next week for more on the Early Start Community Helpers.