Posted: Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
Dictionary.com defines a “community” as a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests. At Education.com, we have a rather large community. That is, our community is made up of teachers, parents, caregivers, grandparents, nannies and au pairs, as well as anyone who’s involved in the life of a child. That’s quite a community!
At the Online Community Manager at Education.com, I’m given the pretty awesome role of interacting with people who visit, read, and put into action the articles, activities, worksheets, school information, and more they find on the site. I feel lucky that I get to hear from people every single day who’s role as a person invested in a child’s education or development — in any capacity — is improved or made easier by the resources Education.com offers. Although I do my best to distribute this to the rest of the staff, they don’t get to hear these kind words as often as me. (After all, I don’t want to bombard them with emails!)
So, when we got chosen to participate in Maker Faire, a festival celebrating makers, inventors, and tinkerers (and largely attended by parents, teachers, and kids!) in the Bay Area, California, we jumped at the chance. We spent the weekend teaching kids and parents how to make rain sticks out of mailing tubes, nails, tin foil, and decorations galore. In all, we crafted over 500 rainsticks! Seeing the enthusiasm on smiling kids faces as we lead them through the project might have brought more joy to the Education.com staff than it did to the kids themselves. Getting to talk, tell stories, and get our hands a little dirty doing an awesome craft project with TONS of kids was tiring but incredibly rewarding. We have decided together that Maker Faire is a tradition to be repeated again and again, and that we can’t wait for more opportunities to get involved.
Whatever your community may be, consider some ways you can help out and get immersed in it. There are countless volunteer opportunities that allow for the entire family, from the youngest kids to the busiest parents, to get involved. Here’s some information to help you find the perfect match for your family’s interests and goals.
By the way, if you live in New York, Detroit, Ann Arbor, or one of the other upcoming Maker Faire locations, don’t miss it! The creations experienced there are utterly jaw-dropping.