Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Community Triage in the face of Tragedy

This week Los Gatos morns the tragic death of a teenager. My heart goes out to the parents.

A wake up call too late.. But perhaps as a community we should have or could have offered a safety net. In the face of this tragedy, the immediate triage should be this: talk to your kids about what's a safe, sensible alternative to anger and hurt. Have you hugged your kid today? Well, do it more often because as parents we all forget the importance and besides being free, hugs feel nice and offer a moment to connect.

We owe our kids more than just lip service on caring, more than buying a new ipod or xbox game. A wake up call to us all is the 2008 County score card available at the website and the pdf's available can be found here at the buzz on the sidebar. A wake up call to all of us, and not just those of us picking up the Cheerios and driving to soccer practice but the entire community needs to get behind our youth and offer support and praise. Being a kid in today's world has gotta be tough. The numbers from the county score card support that sentiment. An example: In Santa Clara county fewer parents read to their children compared to the other surrounding counties. Middle school children report feeling disconnected from adults, and undervalued as community members. Pretty grim don't you think? We live in an affluent community, we suffer from a strong case of "affluenza" or throwing money at our kids in the form of new iphones, bmw's and ski holidays. The place for teens or "The Venue" as it's referred to is an amazing resource here in Los Gatos. It's a model for other towns and municipalities who frequently visit, come to learn how to recreate the same magic within their own communities. The director of the Venue, Mike Loya deserves sainthood in my guesstimation. This guy is just about the most even keel, caring, and loyal guy you would ever meet. The 300+kids who frequent the Venue in any given day "get" how key this place is. So why does this amazing community service that provides SO much, receive so little?? That is a great question that I rode hard as a Community Services Commissioner..wish I hand the answer but I have alluded to what part of that funding quandary might be in an earlier post.

Today is a bright new day for all of us: enjoy the beauty of the fall foliage, and contemplate getting involved with a few great programs like The venue, or project cornerstone.
Let's all enjoy the extra hugs were gonna give our kids today, and perhaps we can help prevent a tragic loss like we have experienced this week. This investment will benefit us all.
The websites for the venue (which NEEDS board members-) and the project cornerstone site are listed in the side bar.

No comments: