Long before Hillary Clinton coined the phrase “It takes a Village,” the sentiment was widely prescribed as a traditional African proverb. The sentiment suggests that proverb or not, "It takes a whole village to raise a child." Parents, neighbors, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, pastors and teachers all have a hand in raising a child. I put forth the notion that all of us have a hand in raising a village.
I grew up in Detroit, Michigan. In my neighborhood the houses were side-by-side along a city block. Our block was a "village" when I was growing up – our activities were governed by a few unwritten laws: everyone had to be home when the street light came on, no riding your bike in the street and if you were guilty you better fess up the sooner the better, because your parents were bound to find out. We were safe. We knew our neighbors and we watched out for one another. Times were different back in the 50’s but the goal to have a safe and happy childhood was as universal then as it is now.
How do we adopt this philosophy which helps our children thrive? It takes a community to create a village. We all need to take a hand in creating our village. Many people in the Copper Country have reached out and taken this task to heart. Programs that offer services to children and their families are part of building a community, creating a village. KFRC has been blessed by the generosity of many community partners that understand this notion as well as businesses and churches that are committed to creating a thriving environment for children.
As we embrace the principle that it takes a community to create a village we will become more committed to improving the quality of life for all children in the Keweenaw. Each of us has a role in this, each of us can affect change and each of us, everyone can lay claim as members of our fine village.