On the first weekend in October, families from throughout Centre County will gather in downtown State College for America’s Day for Kids. Each year since 2001, the community has set aside this day to honor and celebrate young ones. With the busy lifestyles that most families lead, it is even more important to spend quality time with children to show them they are important. Doing this helps create a sense of belonging for kids and shows them how much they are loved and valued.
Us teens like doing our their own thing — listening to music, using our smartphones, watching TV and hanging out with friends. Plus we spend a lot of time at school and doing homework, and some of us work, too. We lead very busy lives. But even though it may not always seem that way, we also love to spend time with our families and do fun activities with them. When our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other caring adults spend time with us, it lets us know how much they care. It’s like another way of saying, “I love you.”
Studies show that spending meaningful time together as a family helps kids to develop a positive self-image and a sense of purpose. Strong families take the time to listen, talk, and share activities with each other and have fun while they do it. Having a strong family to rely on and caring adults to talk to can help teens when we are faced with making decisions about substance abuse and other risky behaviors.
The Day for Kids highlights the value of meaningful time spent between caring adults and children. It is a special day that offers fun, free activities that give families a chance to take a break from the hectic everyday things they do and just enjoy spending time together. Doing things like this helps family members feel more connected to each other.
Communities That Care, the State College Downtown Improvement District and other organizations invite families to the event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 4 on South Allen Street. There will be arts and crafts, face painting, free pumpkins and musical instruments to play. If you like puppets, you will like the Walk-by Puppet Workshop. If you like magic, you will have the chance to meet and be amazed by members of the State College Magic Club.
I have been going to Day for Kids since I was 10 years old. It is a great way to spend an autumn day with your family. Maybe I will see you there.