January is full of New Year’s resolutions and new plans; why not spend some time this week thinking about how you and your kids can engage in simple, family-friendly community service activities throughout the year? The MLK Day of Service on January 16 is a great place to begin. Start with a discussion about causes and community programs that are meaningful to you and brainstorm simple things you can do to get started. As a preschool parent, early literacy has been a big area of focus for us, and the inspiration for Books Make It Better, a grassroots early literacy movement created by a few fellow Mom Congress delegates. If you’re interested, you can download our toolkit on the Mom Congress Resource Center, or work with your kids to make a plan for how to raise $5 to donate a classic kids’ book to Reach out and Read. For other ideas across many other topics, you can research local efforts on the MLK Day of Service site, and check out Volunteer Spot for more on family-friendly volunteering ideas and tips. Good luck!
Jen is Oregon's 2011 Mom Congress delegate, and lives in Portland, OR. As a passionate preschool parent to identical (yet nothing alike) twin daughters, she is an active volunteer with several local community organizations who support early literacy, student health & hunger relief, and arts education efforts. Through her small business marketing firm, Big Small Brands, Jen also provides pro-bono services for education nonprofits; Connect with her at 1OregonMom.org, on Twitter @1OregonMom and @BooksBetter, and in "Reflections of An Oregon Mom".