Yesterday was my first ever National Night Out Block Party. The intersections were blocked off, and the neighbors had set up a couple of grills in the middle of the streets. Kids were running around, and adults were milling with drinks in hand. It turned out that we were the newbies among mostly long-time residents of our block, and we felt quite welcomed. Here were the highlights for me:
- I may have convinced a woman who lives across the street from me to give bus commuting a try. Hey, if I can commute from Minneapolis to Burnsville on a bus, then anyone can, right?
- When a neighbor expressed interest in putting a Little Free Library in front of her house, I enthusiastically agreed to help keep it stocked if she does it. You all know that I will make good on that promise. :)
- I discovered another Unitarian-Universalist family on my block. We chatted about our kids’ RE classes and about the why we chose UU. Great to have that connection.
National Night Out started in 1984 as a crime prevention program aimed at creating the community camaraderie needed to enhance safety for everyone. One night isn’t going to solve all crime issues, but it certainly represents a beginning. I was very happy to finally be able to be a part of that in our new home.
Want to keep the sense of community going? Here are some links:
- Community Heroes: Picture Books About Neighborhood Peacekeepers from the American Library Association
- Books for Teaching About Friendship and Your Neighborhood from Scholastic
- Exploring Social Studies Through Children’s Books via the National Association for the Education of Young Children
- Little Free Libraries allow neighbors to share books and a bit of themselves from the Star Tribune