Archive for Thursday, January 22, 2004

Programs solving community needs with commitment

January 22, 2004

On the surface, three community programs -- one new and two established -- may not look like much. For some Eudora parents and caregivers, however, the volunteer-driven initiatives provide much needed stress relief.
Daycare is an often-overlooked ingredient of economic development. Obviously, both parents can't pursue careers without an affordable and secure place to leave children. That urgency is relieved somewhat when children reach school age, but that routine can be disturbed for in-service days or special days when school dismisses early. The Eudora United Methodist Church has stepped up with a program that fills that need. The program offers parents an alternative that doesn't have them scrambling to find a sitter or temporary care provider for their youngsters.
The new program compliments the same church's Parents Day Out program that provides stay-at-home and work-at-home parents -- or perhaps grandparents providing child care -- a respite from their duties. At-home caregivers can take care of pressing business or just relax for a few hours with the knowledge their charges are safe and entertained. The program has proved so popular a second day has been added. Like the early release days program, volunteers make Parents Day Out work.
Volunteers are also keeping the Parents As Teachers program alive in Eudora while the district searches for a new coordinator. Community leaders are giving their free time to oversee playgroups that allow children to socialize with one another ---- and let their parents observe.
The three examples cited above are evidence of a wonderful small-town quality. Solutions are found when problems are recognized through the resourcefulness and commitment of community members without the need for endless committee meetings, studies and reviews.

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