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Now more than ever, people and groups are stepping up to care for their communities, such as a Lakewood woman who hand sewed 500 masks and gave them for free or the thousands of front-line workers tirelessly working to help their neighbors and beyond. When we reflect on these hometown heroes, we see that those individuals are actively creating the caring community they wish to be a part of. Since 2016, Alameda Connects has been asking the Lakewood Young AmeriTowne students how they can create a caring community, planting the seeds of intention, compassion, and service.
In the Young AmeriTowne TV station, sponsored by Alameda Connects and the Alameda Corridor Business Improvement District (ACBID), fifth grade students explore and brainstorm how they can build a caring community. Once they have a few ideas formulated, they discuss their answers to the TV reporter then share them on the Wall of Caring. This lesson not only gives students valuable public speaking skills, but it helps them realize that no matter how small, their actions are powerful and create real change. Over 12,500 Lakewood students go through this activity each year, coming out excited to create the caring community they’ve now envisioned.
Alameda Connects and ACBID work “to promote a vibrant community in [Lakewood] through thoughtful financial stewardship and strategic partnerships.” Staying true to their core values—unity, innovation, prosperity, and celebration to name a few—the thoughtfulness that Alameda Connects and ACBID put into their TV shop for the students of Lakewood shows their commitment to creating a vibrant, caring community for these students to grow up in. This is
echoed through Tom Quinn, Executive Director of Alameda Connects. “The students of Young AmeriTowne are at a great age to have the conversations of the roles they can play within their own community. Helping and being a hero to someone isn’t just for the adults. Alameda Connects and ACBID are proud to be two of the Young Americans Center community partners dedicated to creating the caring Lakewood residents of tomorrow and teaching students lifelong skills.”
At the end of the day, students take home a sticker that says, “I’m the future of my community.” After Young AmeriTowne, students really grasp that truth, understanding that they can be the hometown heroes they hear and read about. Thank you, Alameda Connects and ACBID for providing this wonderful experience for the students of Lakewood and continuing to show your commitment to the future of Lakewood even through the most uncertain times.