We Can’t Just LEAVE our Children a Brighter Future
Overwhelmed by the negative messages that permeate our world, adults often ask: how do we leave a better world for our children?
We can go deeper than this.
We should ask: HOW DO WE ENGAGE OUR CHILDREN TO CREATE A BETTER WORLD?
This is the question that drives Team Kids’s mission, our staff, board members and generous supporters. Rather than taking on the formidable task of correcting what is wrong in the world, we focus on our youngest leaders who have the energy, creativity and compassion to tackle such a challenge. We tell our kids they are the perfect fit for this big job. Then we provide them the opportunity to get to work.
If you tell a child that there is another child going to bed hungry, he will gladly hand over his Spongebob Mac ‘n Cheese. If you tell a child there is a cold, scared puppy in a nearby shelter waiting for a home, she will take the puppy her favorite blanket. If you tell a whole elementary school filled with children these things, they will make a difference in their community.
Last school year, 17,961 children were empowered through the Team Kids Challenge. Team Kids coaches led police officers, firefighters, educators, parents and other community members in mentoring elementary school students through their efforts to raise $85,216.66 in funds and in-kind resources for 22 charities, such as Olive Crest, CHOC, Illumination Foundation and local shelters and food pantries.
Statistics become crippling. 1 in 5 children in the U.S. go to bed hungry each night; 28,000 children in Orange County are homeless; 1 in 5 adults in the world cannot read. Team Kids is grateful for the adults working on these critical issues. Thanks to their efforts, we can mobilize our most renewable resource – our kids – to support their efforts. Our kids provide immediate support to local charities and assistance for our community members in need. They also build strength within themselves, protect themselves from antisocial and high-risk behavior* and further brighten our collective future.
We need to protect our children from disempowering messages (“you’re too young to help”) and nourish the innate compassion that dwells within them by offering them meaningful roles in our communities. Because we do not need to just leave our children a brighter future; we need to engage them in creating it.
*Based on the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Asset research
Click below to learn more:
- 40 Assets with National Statistics – Team Kids Challenge focuses on highlighted Assets, stats in red represent the 8 Assets reported at 30% or less by youth
- Search Institute: Developmental Relationships Framework
- Search Institute web story about Team Kids in 2010
- WestEd Outcomes Summary of Team Kids