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Ready, Set, Relax

March 31st, 2004 · No Comments

Tonight was the first “Ready, Set, Relax Family Night” on Bainbridge Island “unscheduled” by the Just Know Bainbridge Coalition for Youth and Parents. The school district and local businesses helped sponsor the occasion. No homework. No after-school sports. Instead families were encouraged to spend the extra time together. The bookstore served cookies and punch. The library held an evening story time. Restaurants offered free dessert and the grocery store gave away free ice cream.

From an article in The Bainbridge Review:

“If the only way we can actually take time and spend it with our families is to have it written in the calendar for us, then hooray for Ready, Set, Relax,” Mayor Darlene Kordonowy said. “To have the chance to sit down and talk to each other is too big a gift to say ‘no’ to.”
The collective decision to kick back – supported by a wide range of local organizations, school and city officials, and businesses – is a move to strengthen family ties stressed by weekly activities that may have kids and parents spinning off in different directions.

A year ago I went to a meeting by a group that would later help form Just Know. At that time, the discussion on helping island teens centered on building a community center or asking a coffee shop to stay open later at night. I left that meeting disillusioned, disagreeing with the direction the group was headed. But I believe that these Family Nights, that promote communication and celebration, giving time to parents and kids to spend together having fun, have potential to effect change and bring about the deeper solutions fo the problems.

Tags: island