Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Imagine Whirled Peace and the Americone Dream

Just admit it, we’ve all enjoyed a pint (or two) of Chunky Monkey or Cherry Garcia.  But, did you know that Ben and Jerry’s most recent invention isn’t an ice cream flavor at all?  In fact, some think it’s better than any flavor combination that could be invented.  It’s…wait for it…the Ben & Jerry's Euphori-Lock and features the phrase, "I'm terribly sorry, but there is no 'u' in 'my pint.'"

That’s right, for a mere $6.64 plus tax, you can be the proud owner of your very own combination lock for your favorite Ben and Jerry’s pint.  Never again will you run to the freezer to find that some evil family member beat you to the spoon. 
Instead, as of last week, the Euphori-Lock went up for sale.  While at first I was, well, euphoric, in even thinking about never again having to share my pints of ice cream, a project I’ve been working on this past week caused me to think again.

A huge collaboration of volunteers has been working on a project called Synergy 2012.  Some of you may have been involved in past Synergy events and the legacy continues.
The team that I am working with has been responsible for creating the Summer Passport…A list of 40 activities that all kids should do this summer.  (Grab your own copy here!)  The really cool thing about this passport of experiences is that for each 10 experiences that a student completes, they can enter their name in a drawing to be held at IWU's Track and Field on August 4th at 7:00 p.m.  And the big drawing is for up to 100 plane rides!  That’s right, plane rides!  How cool is that?

But, what many of you may not know is that August 4th is actually the launch date for The Passport:   1000 Things All Grant County Students Should Experience Before They Graduate. 
So, a group of us have spent the week formulating what these 1000 experiences should be.  And, I have to admit, it’s been fun. But, more importantly, we’ve been intentional in the types of activities that were chosen.  Our first priority was to integrate the experiences with the 40 Developmental Assets.  Developed by the Search Institute in 1990 and grounded in extensive research in youth development, resiliency, and prevention, the Developmental Assets represent the relationships, opportunities, and personal qualities that young people need to avoid risks and to thrive.  Thrive!  What community wouldn’t want that for their children?

So, it’s been exciting work for sure.  But, the one element that kept sticking out to me was that of relationships.  All of The Passport experiences that we’ve created were purposely made to do with others, specifically adults.  But why?
Dr. Peter Benson’s book, Parent, Teacher, Mentor, Friend: How Every Adult Can Change Kids’ Lives is a call to action, inviting every caring adult to change the life of a young person.  His research indicates that relationships with adults are critical to our youth and make a profound impact when there is positive engagement for longer than a year.  Current research indicates that most 12-18 year old children have no long-term and meaningful relationships with adults outside their family. 

Well, that’s just not good enough for the children in Grant County, Indiana.  We need them to thrive!  So, what did we do?  We decided to provide adults, all adults, with a practical and easy recipe book for how to connect with kids…and that’s The Passport.
Our hope is that all of our students will now have a catalog of lots of different things they can do—all with a trusted adult in their life.  And, yes, eating ice cream is one of them.

So, research suggests that we all should really take our $6.64 plus tax and donate it to a charity, then make a conscious choice to share a pint of Imagine Whirled Peace or the Americone Dream with someone pint-sized instead.  So, help a child thrive, buy a pint of ice cream, and grab two spoons…you’ll be glad you did.
Whirled Peace and Blessings,

Dawn

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1 comment:

  1. I love this idea Dawn. At our JA board meeting last week, we just celebrated the 200+ volunteers who connected with kids through Junior Achievement last school year in Grant County. I hope we can continue to help you meet your objectives in making these positive connections! Good luck!!

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