Summer of Inclusion

la2015-logoIn just under a month The Special Olympics comes to Los Angeles. From July 25th through August 2nd during #LA2015, parents will have a unique opportunity to live messages of inclusivity and global citizenship with their families, reinforcing the kinds of qualities that we hope will become part of the fabric of our children’s lives. Philanthroparent is happy to coach you through a few exercises to help you embrace the spirit of the games.

The Warm-ups

There are several activities you can do from home to build momentum for the events:

*Make welcome cards or signs for the athletes (in their native tongue if you wish). Check out the delegations list. Or, explore your family’s heritage through the cultural connections the delegations can provide.

*Make a Circle of Inclusion– an official symbol for the games. Take pictures of your family, neighbors and friends within it. Share your snapshots on social media with #ReachUpLA.

*Consider your own family’s stories of determination and explore the #whatsonething series about athletes overcoming things they were told they could never do… but did anyways.

*Support An Athlete. Your support with help assure an athlete’s successful journey at the games.

The Main Event

*Simply attend the games, which are FREE and open to the public!

*Who else can you invite? What people or community organizations that you are already connected with would support the spirit of these games? What sports teams are your family members a part of that could drum up even more support?

*Teens 14 and over can become a “Fans in the Stands” – recruit your own delegation of cheering fans for one of the sporting events.

*Check out the Volunteer Opportunities for teens ages 16 − 18.

The Special Olympics bring an even stronger connection to the valuable lessons that sports can provide. If you have sports fans in your household, you can use #LA2015 to also introduce concepts of acceptance and inclusion into their socially conscious lives. It’s a win-win. See you at the games!

Celebrate World Oceans Day, June 8th

Beach Heart - Version 2World Oceans Day takes place every year on June 8th, and my daughter and I are celebrating for the first time this year by making a plastic fish collage! You might also consider celebrating if … 1) You have been to the ocean or the beach and enjoyed it. 2) You have taken your child out on the ocean or to the beach and they enjoyed it. 3) You plan on taking your child out on the ocean or to the beach because your family will probably enjoy it.

Needless to say, our oceans and beaches are likely to become a lasting memory for your child. So, as a Philanthroparent, you might want to consider helping them find ways to appreciate these memories. And since you’re raising a socially and environmentally conscious kid, you might also realize that you need to introduce them to the fact that humanity’s actions are impacting our oceans in a multitude of ways.

Even if you don’t live in or near a coastal community, there are still ways to get involved. The World Oceans Day website has a multitude of ideas for honoring our oceans. You’ll discover surprising (and sometimes alarming) facts that can motivate your family into action. You can take a “Selfie for the Sea”, browse their project ideas, or take a pledge to do something to reduce your impact on our oceans. (more…)

Book Drives: Kid Tested, Philanthroparent Approved

This past weekend marked the first hands-on service activity I’ve participated in since parenthood. For years I’ve wanted to take part in Big Sunday Weekend- a compilation of community service activities orchestrated over one weekend in May. Even though I’d have a toddler in tow, I was determined to make it happen.  I couldn’t be certain how effective I would be if I brought my daughter, yet I was ready to start volunteer experiences alongside her. I scanned the event listings, and discovered a Book Drive for a local Los Angeles organization, BookEnds … This could work. Armed with plenty of reading material and my carrier, we set out to sort donated books that would reach needy schools, youth centers, literacy programs and educational organizations.

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