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  • Writer's pictureTina Dierna

Youth, Community and Social Health

The importance of youth engagement is critical to a successful community. Just like how humanity must band together to make sure we all are conscious of the environment, we have to make sure that the children in our lives are an integral part of the local community. We have to make the youth interested, not only in what we do, but our values and beliefs. Through the hands-on projects that The Coop Concept does, we hopefully can make children be interested in learning how to make the world a better place to live.


Ivana worked for hours taking out stubborn roots

Children are our future. We must instill in them good values, good work ethic, and teach them to care for others. Ivana says, "I feel pretty good that I am contributing to the community, it makes me feel like I did something good." After Ivana helped create garden beds, and learned about soil, she felt happy that she was contributing to the community of Kingston and Chambers Elementary School.


Being a part of a tightly-knit group allows for people to feel comfortable and secure in themselves. It allows people to feel safe; in case of an emergency, the community has one's back, so to speak. Not only that, but it increases social cohesion as well. When one is part of something greater than themselves, they feel like they have a sense of purpose. That is what The Coop Concept hopes to teach kids, that their voice matters and that their community is important. This was evident within just a few days of this building project. From the time they started putting together picnic tables to the point of a completed garden. They also made time to play. As Emily worked on the classroom management side one hot day, Tina ate ice pops and watched the youth all run as a group to the elementary school playground and swing together. This was a way to strengthen relationships and remind each other, you're never too old to enjoy a good belly laugh on the swings!


In the end, community is something that takes time, and people willing to do the work of building something bigger than themselves pays off when you are working as a team. Some days were just so hot and sticky, that being together meant we weren't feeling that alone. Post covid our youth said that they really enjoyed being together and working in a group.


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