Re: Do you have a kids team
From: Jude Foster (foster.judegmail.com)
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 13:58:38 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Mac,  and others,
About your question about having a kids' team: The answer is Yes, a double yes in our case.

At the present moment we have 16 children in our established but changing community, from baby to age 13. A new family with three children just moved in. A teen-ager is about to arrive.

We have both a "Children's Team" - which includes all parents and at least one grandparent - and a separate "Kids' Team" - which includes all the children themselves, above the age of 3 or so.

The Children's Team has existed for years. It focuses on developing and caring for play areas for the kids, policies which affect kids, the after-school program (in which parents share and take turns), planning outings, etc. It has handled many controversies through the years, and sometimes there are divisions within the team. As usual, parenting and kids provide lots of "trigger points".... This team is absolutely essential to the functioning of the community.

The Kids' Team is new last year. I initiated it, seeing that the children needed their own voice, their own meeting, and some additional empowerment within the community structure. It is still in development, and it's a success already. We talk at their pace in our monthly meetings ( in other words, allow for movement and a certain lack of order!), talk about issues as they come up, make fun plans. We've planned a couple of significant outings which make such a positive difference in their sense of themselves as a group. I type up the minutes of our meetings afterwards for them and for the larger community to see. And at my request, the kids are now accorded a spot in Team Reports at our monthly community meeting, when one of the older kids reports for a moment on what is coming or what they have done.

I count this Kids' Team, as an addition to the existing Children's Team, as totally worth the effort. I see a palpable difference in the kids.

Jude Foster (one-year resident, Nana, and Montessorian)
Trillium Hollow
Portland Oregon

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