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Examiner
  • Diane Mack: Looking forward to Family Week anniversary

  • Good morning, readers, I am thrilled to share with you something, which is about to happen, an exciting time for families.



    This coming April, “Putting Families First” or Jackson County Family Week will be celebrating our 15th anniversary.

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  • Good morning, readers, I am thrilled to share with you something, which is about to happen, an exciting time for families.
    This coming April, “Putting Families First” or Jackson County Family Week will be celebrating our 15th anniversary.
    Fifteen years, can you imagine? No community has invested 15 years into strengthening families.
    May I share with you a little history, of how this all came about?
    In the summer of 1998, a six-member Parent Teacher Association committee at Cordill-Mason Elementary School in Jackson County, Missouri, met to plan a night for families. Their planning meeting and thoughts landed on a “lack of family time.”
    As moms we asked ourselves if there were too many extra-curricular activities? Were sports practices depleting family time? When do parents have time to talk to their children or, what we identified, unite in “teaching time”?
    One small PTA committee wanted to make a change
    Through study, and research, they learned more. They added their creativity, talents, and time. They titled their work, “Putting Families First” and Family Week was born.
    This phenomenal PTA committee created a list of family activities, which would educate families, improve the families’ health and wellness, and strengthen family life. The committee felt strongly that “one evening of family” was not sufficient to educate, improve, and strengthen families, so this amazing school, and PTA, offered a week-full of family activities, education, and entertainment.
    Putting Families First was successful. That first year, Family Week won two state awards: the Missouri Outstanding PTA, 1st Place in PAFLE and the EDDY Award for Excellence in Education from the Governor. The Family Week project was published in the national magazine “Our Children” and spotlighted in two workshops at the State PTA convention. Family Week was alos potlighted on two local television stations and three newspapers.
    Putting Families First, or Family Week, worked. Not only did Family Week have over 75 percent of the school population participating, but families were involved, engaged with their children. During the week, the school offered seminars, assemblies, guest speakers, parent education, college instruction, and business specials, obviously impacting the children and families. The resulting affect on the children was immediately noticeable.
    Beginning in 1998, and landing this year in 2013, Putting Families First has grown from a PTA project, to a city wide salute, and has landed at a county wide celebration.
    We are preparing for an exciting celebration in April. The dates are April 21 through April 27. The Family of the Year Reception is on Tuesday, April 16.
    In the meantime, it is time to nominate families and let a neighbor, church, or school family know, they are doing a good job. We never hear those words often enough.
    It is simple. Write 100-200 words of how your selection puts their family first. Visit our website at www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org and click on the Nominate form on the homepage.
    Page 2 of 2 - In April, Jackson County will have many signs of family strength . . . gold ribbons, banners, workshops, business specials, and prizes. It’s obvious that family time has an impact on our schools and community. How do we know?
    For the past 15 years, Family Week’s success is in plain sight. Watch the children. It’s obvious.
    You can see it in their eyes.
    Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email her at jacksoncountyfamilyweek@yahoo.com or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.
     

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