It is not only that Spring is finally appearing; the world really is getting better. Global measures of heath, peace and wealth confirm this each year. Personally, I see a growing number of resources to foster healthy, happy and productive lives.
Thirteen years ago, AWI was founded to help prevent depression.
This meant to somehow change thinking at school, in the wider community, and - most importantly - at home.
Today, schools are moving to include more social and emotional learning. Many communities are prioritizing connectedness. Families can more easily find activities that enhance problem solving and coping skills.
I am seeing a smile on the world because some of the resources that AWI helped pilot and promote are being adopted even outside the USA. A primary reason is because of Rotary clubs, some of which have been active in communities and helping individual families for over a century. For example, the Rotary Club of Wellesley (founded 72 years ago) is removing barriers to communication and support in our town with service projects. Its projects range from simple (i.e. scheduling pool tables for matches among teens and senior citizens) to complex (i.e. replicating its Peer Leadership & Depression Prevention program in India). AWI helped packaged this latter program for replication by any Rotary club in the world. This week, a friend in the Rotary Club of badan Idi-IshinI submitted the schedule to launch the same service project in Nigeria.
I hope you will celebrate with me on Wednesday, May 2nd, at Brae Burn Country Club in Newton at the AWI annual event; the theme is Spring Forward:
Fostering our children's emotional wellness. T
he evening will provide a practical tool for parents to use at home, refreshments, and lively conversation.
What might be practical tools for parents? One example is a tip sheet for easier communication. Another example is a worksheet for creative problem solving, an ability to defer judgement long enough to redefine a problem and generate ideas before implementing a solution. The teens in the header photograph built and flew a 12 foot plane a distance of forty-seven feet with limited materials and time. Their success had been in doubt until they re-defined the problem from 'How to fly a 12 foot fuselage' to instead ask 'How to control a 12 foot wing'. The experience was provided by Jerry Beck, introduced below in the Featured Guest section.
In addition to the AWI event in Newton, fun events the same week are scheduled by two Wellesley organizations that help the mission of AWI:
~ Sunday, May 6, Page Waterman Gallery hosts Next Up, a juried art exhibition for high school students.
I will be at at each of the three events, enjoying a smile.