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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Celebrating National Family Week

Monday, December 2, 2002

Family Fun Night at Forest Park Elementary earlier this month connected preschoolers with their parents and teachers in several activities to strengthen fine and gross motor skills as well as communication and interpersonal skills. From left: Cody Siddons, Lucy France, Amber France and Kim Edwards, CAPE preschool teacher.

Strong families are at the center of a strong Clay County and this week, Clay County citizens joined thousands of people across the United States in celebration of the 32nd annual National Family Week to recognize the connection between families and communities.

National Family Week "Connections Count" embraces the premise that children live better lives when their families are strong and families are strong when they live in communities that connect them to economic opportunities, social networks and services. These connections include everyday access to high-quality transportation, employment opportunities, education and child care. Positive relationships within and among families also provide connections.

Ordinary families are extraordinarily important to our communities and our country. When America's diverse families and children are healthy, our nation prospers. To recognize the value of families, as well as the importance of family values, take time during National

Making the most of family connections takes a little time and effort, but it's not hard to get started. A few examples on how to begin include:

-Have a family supper with the families of your children's friends.

-Select one issue in your community important to your family, contact local officials and ask how to get involved.

-Encourage employers to evaluate their human resource programs and consider family-friendly work options, such as flexible hours and time off to attend school functions.

-Write a thank you note to local emergency service professionals who are on call just in case your family needs them.

-Write a thank you note to someone who helps your family thrive, such as a daycare provider.

National Family Week "Connections Count" reinforces the concept of family being many different things to different people and is celebrated as a foundation on which to improve communities as a whole. Whether "family" is two parents, a single parent, a blended family or a close group of friends, celebrating and recognizing the support you receive through those connections is what National Family Week is all about.

Locally, the services provided by the Even Start Family Literacy program, Title 1 and the CAPE grant promote family involvement to help children succeed in school. For more information about these programs, call 448-8985.

Families can visit the Web site: www.nationalfamilyweek.org or call 1-800-221-2681 to learn more about National Family Week and get helpful hints for making their Connections Count. Tips for extending and enhancing family connections and on how neighborhood organizations, businesses, non-profits and policymakers can make a difference are provided year-round.

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