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The Platform Power of Community-Based Learning and Engagement

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

The power of community influences children's life skills and personal achievements—the energy we give individuals with the opportunity and responsibility to support them. The goal is to rely on Individuals who have a personal connection and commitment to the success of their individual and community development. When working in partnership with caring individuals who support and are willing to become part of the partnering, sharing of information and expertise movement for creating a community of trust amongst its members and those seeking to join the collaborative activity, today, we may live in communities where we may not know the name of our next-door neighbors. My story starts with my experience watching my grandkids grow up and start their early years of development and introduction to all the exciting things around them that were connected and brought to life by members of the communities. It all started with the enrollment into a private preschool program that a community member began with a focus on knowing who you are as a person and constantly reminding yourself of the greatness you have as a gift from God.

They were graduating from that program into an in-home provider being cared for and nurtured by the lady who opened her home to parents who were not ready to turn their children's development over to a government management program at the stage where their surroundings and daily activities will mainly influence them. The key at this stage is in an environment where personal love and attention can be displayed and shared amongst all the kids she was responsible for during this critical stage of their development. We must be more involved in the tools and individuals that set life directions for developing our kids' young minds. We need to know their intention and methods used for shaping their young minds, and they should align with our desires for the growth of our children. When they began to show their interest in things that supported where they wanted to engage as they grew and learned new and different things, I noticed it was the local church and the activities they offered to the members of their congregation. For my grandkid, it was dance, and she was allowed to engage and learn the routine and her commitment to practice until she was ready to perform. She was allowed to showcase her dance skills during one of the Sunday morning services. This opportunity showed her parents where their child's interest was and how they could continue supporting the interest and commitment to consistently grow in developing her dance skills.

Support their child's dance development and her interest in performance required them to commit to supporting her in a community dance program after school and on weekends. The power of having an organized program in the urban community allowed her to continue engaging in the things she loved and personally committed to becoming a rising star in competitive dance performance. Her community dance team traveled from Minnesota to South Carolina to perform in a competition, which I was able to attend and watch the level of professionalism on display by the team from the local community and the work plus the commitment from the dance studio leader and staff to train, organize, and prepare those dancers to be able to compete in a national competition. What came to my mind as I look back at each stage of my granddaughter's ability to perform on a national stage at a young age was the power and commitment of all those individuals from the local community who made the time available to train them, parents' responsibility to have them at the practice and rehearsal on time and waited for them to finish their training.

I'd like to know if I ever mentioned the traditional school system being involved, supported, or encouraged in any phase of my granddaughter's love, commitment, and dedication to becoming a professional performer. This desire is possible if that is her long-term goal, which is very likely with the continuous support and commitment from the local community and not the government institutions that have displayed zero interest in assisting the parents in developing the interests of their children. We must give serious consideration to handing children over to a system that may not have their best interest at heart and begin seeking resources to support the welfare and desires of our children in becoming and fulfilling their dreams and goals for life outside of the curriculum dictated by the school board over the power of members from our local communities.

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