“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Hundreds of kids answered this call from Daniel Tiger with an emphatic, “Yes!” at recent Be My Neighbor Days hosted in Lexington and Louisville. His special episode “Neighbor Day” introduced a whole new generation of kids and families to the power of one small, good deed creating a ripple effect of kindness throughout the neighborhood. These events were created to enable kids to give back to their own communities, just like Daniel Tiger!
At the Russell School Community Services Center, families crowded into the event space to give back while having fun. Opportunities to help included making fleece blankets for the One Parent Scholar House and the Chrysalis House. The blankets were easy to make, giving the families a chance to chat and get to know each other better while they worked.
Kids really enjoyed creating the self-care kits to donate to Project Life as well as decorating holiday cards for the seniors. Parents commented that it was nice to have a way even the smallest toddlers could contribute to their community.
With the addition of snacks, general crafts, story time with Senator Reggie Thomas and Colmon Elridge, and pictures and hugs with Daniel Tiger, the only issue attendees had was that they wanted more time! We were thrilled the take-away for the day was the desire to do even more for the community!
A few days later and a few miles west, the second Be My Neighbor Day was held in Broad Run Park. All were invited and the turnout was unprecedented! Over 1,400 attendees showed up to give back to the community and meet community helpers.
With the focus being on the environmental community, kids could go on nature walks guided by park employees and were then able to pot saplings to plant in their neighborhood. With the Louisville area losing approximately 50,000 trees a year, the event encouraged families to be more involved in the preservation of their green spaces.
Kids and families also had fun seeing a police helicopter up close and getting to know some of the local helpers. Representatives from the postal service, libraries, and other first responders were there to discuss their jobs and roles in the community. Engaging kids one-on-one helps foster good relationships in the future and encourages kids to learn about those careers and how those jobs affect their everyday lives.
Kids got to try on career costumes and have a picture made with a coordinating background as a part of PNC’s Grow Up Great® initiative. This program focuses on early childhood learning to help develop skills in math, science, vocabulary, arts and more.
Story time and photo-ops with Daniel Tiger and Katarina Kittycat rounded out a day of fun, education, and community spirit. The kids couldn’t believe they were getting to meet the real Daniel Tiger! By bringing his television lessons to their community, we hope these events will stick with the kids and foster a future of learning and giving.