Monthly Theme: Nurturing Change

Change can be tough. Too often, fear fills our minds with doubt and makes taking the first step toward change or growth seem more daunting than it actually is. Fear can come from many different sources, like fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, or fear of consequences. 

So how can we overcome our fear to embrace change? 

When we start to doubt ourselves, for whatever reason, it is important to remember that the value of our effort lies within the effort itself, not in the outcome. Every person’s voice and perspective matters. Your contribution is valuable and the smallest action you take, with courage and compassion, can initiate change and encourage others to join in.

Some of the change we need to see as a community hinges upon creative minds being able to share their contributions. It might look like creating more green spaces for plants and flowers to grow. Change can also look like creating conditions for members of our community to feel welcomed, respected, and valued for their contributions. When we put people, communities, or groups into boxes, we limit their capacity to show up fully, authentically, and share their unique sparks. Sometimes we do this without being aware of it; this is called unconscious bias. 

Unconscious bias refers to the stereotypes or beliefs we hold that affect our thoughts and our actions. We all have bias, and by acknowledging the stereotypes you have and taking time to listen and learn from people with different perspectives and lived experiences than your own, you can begin to actively dismantle and unlearn harmful stereotypes and beliefs. 

Food for thought: How can we, as a community, create the conditions for people’s sparks to be acknowledged and ignited?

Listen to a couple local examples of change led by children in our community:

Open-Ended Play

Join Teacher Cheryl and Teacher Shannon for a spring-themed story and activity! 

Follow along with Teacher Shannon as she reads And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, a story about a young boy and his dog who decide to plant a garden after a long, snow-filled winter. 

Then, join Teacher Cheryl for an imaginative activity about the potential every seed holds. Start by scavenging for a seed or imagining your very own, then ask yourself, “What is my seed going to grow into?” Imagine what you want to grow and draw it into reality!

6 Books Celebrating Change

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In The Community

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, a time for people in the United States to honor and celebrate the achievements of women throughout history who have brought about change and justice for future generations of women everywhere. This holiday began in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8 National Women’s History Week. The theme of Women’s History Month 2022, “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” is a tribute to caregivers and frontline workers everywhere who have worked ceaselessly during this ongoing pandemic.

Over the last 100 years, women have had to fight for the right to vote, the right to education, the right to safety, and the right to equal pay and opportunity. Learn more about the Women’s Suffrage Movement and a handful of prominent Women Heroes with National Geographic Kids.

There are lots of ways to engage with Women’s History Month in Pierce County! 

Read a book from the Tacoma Public Library’s Women’s History Month book recommendations.

Pick up a Women’s History Month Program Kit from Tacoma Public Libraries’ Main, Fern Hill, or South Tacoma branches starting Tuesday, March 1. 

Learn about local leaders:

  • Listen to this interview with Speaker Laurie Jinkins, who made history in 2020 when she became Washington state’s first woman and first out lesbian Speaker of the House. 
  • Hear from three women who are connected to Pierce County’s criminal justice system on what Women’s History Month, their positions, and their voices mean to them. 
  • Watch this video to learn about the woman behind Tacoma’s first hospital.
  • Join the DuPont Museum Historical Society for a virtual presentation detailing the lives of local women and their impact on DuPont’s history on March 21.

World Teen Mental Health Day

March 2 is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues among teens and providing education about removing the stigma surrounding mental health. Check out this article by Mental Health America for tips on how to start conversations about mental health with young people and how to respond appropriately when they come to you.

National Reading Month / Read Across America Day

Read Across America Day, celebrated every year on March 2, was created by the National Education Association in 1998 as part of a greater, month-long reading initiative to help people of all ages get excited about reading. 

Celebrate National Reading Month with The Book Wrangler’s Read Across America 2022 Stories of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience booklist! These stories will teach you and your children about the rich heritage, culture, struggles, and joys of the immigrants and refugees who are a big part of our country’s past, present, and future. 

Teen Tech Week

This annual event begins on the first Sunday of March (March 6 – 12 this year). During this celebration week, teens are encouraged to use the technology available to them as efficiently and safely as possible. Take this week as an opportunity to have conversations with your young people about internet safety and to encourage their technological proficiency.

Caregiver Corner

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave provides paid time off when 1) a serious health condition prevents you from working, or 2) you need time to care for a family member, bond with a new child, or spend time with a family member who is preparing for military service overseas. Check out The Perigee foundation’s website to get put in contact with a community-based organization that will assist you with applying for PFML.

Support local organizations championing girls and women

YWCA Pierce County provides assistance to survivors of domestic violence and their children under a mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. 

The Tacoma Women of Color Collective is a space for professional Women of Color to nurture community, collaborate, and share professional, educational and life resources. TWCC facilitates professional and entrepreneurial workshops and community events based on wellness/self care and networking/community building.

Raising Girls provides hygiene products to girls in Western Washington who do not have access to these products to advance their mission of eliminating humiliation, promoting pride, and sharing love. You can donate hygiene products, purchase items from their Amazon wishlist, or sign up to write inspirational cards on their website.

The Rainbow Center expands resources and safe spaces for the LGBTQ2SA community through education, advocacy, and celebration. They offer a variety of workshops and training sessions on gender identity and allyship.