My Village Project
What distinguishes man from the animals is, the influence that the society he lives in has on him.
Disrespect. Vulgarity. Poor Grooming And Dress. Lack of Direction.
Drop Out Rate. Job Skills/Employment. Gun Violence. Drug Use.
Pregnancy/ Sexual Activity
My personal vision, to positively impact the lives of over 100,000 Black youth in America. Particularly those who are between the ages of 8 and 15 years old. This out reach will run from January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2020
The impact will be measurable by improvement in the condition of Black Youth in America.
The control will be 2013 statistics for Black Youth in America regarding employment, violence, drug use and pregnancy as measured after December 30 2015. The measurements will be year end statistics for 2013 compared to 2015, 16, 17,18 19 and 20 as well as year end 2020 compared to 2012 and 2013 statistics.
This program puts an emphasis on personal responsibility, and self respect rounded out by cultural awareness, education in Black history, financial education, and literacy improvement.
My vision is for the Village Project to be more of a movement than an organization. I need mothers, fathers, and people with a mentoring heart to get this program and grab about a dozen kids from the neighborhood. Meet with them once a week for 2 years and see if we can’t turn around some of the statistics of the Black Community.
Education will be delivered through the book My Village Project, supported by the mentors lecture, and discussion. Other delivery methods include; relevant media material, subject based and activities, speeches and presentations by local figures and organizations and exposure to positive examples through media, personal appearances and cultural activities.
As a result of participating in this program, there should be an overall improvement in the character, values and behavior of our young people. This will be reflected in the measures as referenced above.
Mission: To positively impact the lives of Black Youth in America. To fill them with the essence of who they are, to fill their spirit with our history our culture and our vision.
All I Really Need To Know
I Learned In Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum
– an excerpt from the book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten
All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do
and how to be I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the
sand pile at Sunday School.
Don’t hit people.
Put situations back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take situations that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Live a balanced life – learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody
really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die.
So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
and the first word you learned – the biggest
word of all – LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any of those items and extrapolate it into
sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your
family life or your work or your government or
your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
Think what a better world it would be if
all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about
three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with
our blankets for a nap. Or if all governments
had a basic policy to always put situation back where
they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you
are – when you go out into the world, it is best
to hold hands and stick together.
The Village Community
When I grew up we lived in a community of family and neighbors, everyone took part in the teaching, training and raising of the children. A community is not a place, a building or a zip code.
A community is a group of people who share common values, interests and concerns. Their beliefs and attitudes shape their behavior. A community can be an extended family, an ethnic group, or a group of people who share a common experience or history. A neighborhood is generally a community.
The Village community embraces the principles of Kwanzaa. We are modeled after tribal cultures found all around the world. In tribal cultures you see common elements of:
A Village chief or Head Elder, usually one of the older men in the Village , home or family
A counsel of elders, these are other men in the Village home or family who have proven themselves to be mature, wise and resourceful. They have gained the respect of the other Village by their strength, courage, or wisdom.
A counsel of women, the women keep the garden that provides the food to nourish the family. They raise the children. Teach the daughters how to be women and teach the sons how to respect women.
Children, the children have to learn their jobs in order to help the Village , home or family survive and thrive, They may bring the water, or watch the animals. They might cook the dinner or take care of the little ones while the women are taking car of the other duties.
Every one in the Village community has a responsibility for taking care of the family, the home and the local or neighborhood. This is where you get the saying “ It takes a Village to raise a child.”
Every one in the Village community must follow the rules and do their part. If the sheep watcher does not protect the sheep, there will be no meat, no wool for clothes and no milk. If the women don’t take care of the garden, and the chickens, there will be no food. If the children don’t do their parts, some of the little children could die. This program is designed to help every one in the Village do a better job.
As a member of the Village Community you will learn to display good Character and good values. Character talks about the type of person you are, whether you are lazy, or hardworking, or honest or dishonest, Values are all of the parts that make up your character, the things that are important to you because the Village Community teaches you those values you have to understand that they are important to the Village and should be important to you.
Through out this program you will be introduced to poems, short stories and quotes, each of them is a lesson in itself. Knowledge is everywhere, learn all you can and use what you learn.
The Village Community encourages dedication to family, respect to all, education, and personal growth and development It encourages me to be my best and do my best no matter what.
The Village culture is one of respect, decency and kindness. The Village culture is one of shared knowledge and wisdom. The Village culture understands and honors our heritage. The Village culture is one of community effort and community economics and The Village culture will be maintained and displayed at all times.
When You Enter The Broader Community
When you leave the incubus of home, church, and school, you enter the broader community. The broader community is those places that you go when you are away from home, family and school. You will increasingly find yourself in the broader community.
People will look at you and make judgments about who you are or who they think you are. They will decide where you come from, if you are educated, rich or poor. They will decide if you are worthy of their attention, their time, or their respect. They will decide whether to trust or fear you. They will decide all of that in about 5 seconds.
You will be in situations where there is no one nearby to tell you right from wrong. There will be no one there to remind you to watch your mouth, or mind your manners, You will be alone, armed only with the knowledge and skills that you bring with you. The things that you were taught at home.
The things that you have learned at home, church and school will form the basis of your character. When you enter the broader community, you will be expected to know how to behave. You should have a certain level of basic knowledge about interacting with peers, authority figures, and the public in general.
By the time you are about 12 years old, you might be allowed to visit in the neighborhood beyond your own block. There may be friends from school, group trips to the movie, the mall or the skating rink. Your parents will not be able to see you or hear you, but they have taught you well and they expect you to behave the way they taught you, this is called home training.
By the time you are about 4 you know most of the rules; Don’t use bad words, say hello to people when you walk into the room, don’t interrupt, say thank you, excuse me and please. Don’t pick on people.
Don’t take things that are not yours, and apologize when you hurt someone.
It is the goal of this program to help you to be able to make good decisions, because the decisions you make can impact your life forever.
Respect is treating others the same way you want to be treated. Respect starts at home, you learn respect by being respected, by seeing respect displayed in the home and by practicing respect.
Your parents probably make you call the neighbor, Mr. Smith or Mrs. Jones, that is because it is a sign of respect for a younger person to address an older person as Mr. or Mrs.
Respect is to show, decency and modesty. To be decent and modest means that you are not out showing your body parts, you are not using fowl language, you are not doing disgusting things, you don’t have your underwear hanging out. You are not blasting your rude music.
It means that you can go to your best friends grandma’s house and when you leave they will not have to apologize for your behavior. It means you should not be seen in an intimate situation in public. All of these things are matters of respect and self respect, you have to respect yourself first. If you don’t show self respect people will generally disrespect you.
Respect others, if you wouldn’t want anyone to say or do something to or in front of your mother or grand mother, then don’t do it yourself. Someone’s mother, grandma or little sister might be there.
Respect for property means you should not take, use, misuse, or destroy any property that is not yours. You should not deface buildings and fences, you should not break windows from empty houses. If it is not yours you should not touch it.
Behave well, don’t embarrass your family. Remember, they taught you well and they expect you to behave like they taught you well.What you do reflects on them. Practice good hygiene. Don’t allow people to mistreat you or abuse you. If you need help go to someone who can help you.
Esteem means how good you feel about yourself or how much you value yourself, esteem has a lot to do with self respect. If your esteem is not good, you may not respect yourself like you should. And if you don’t respect yourself, how can you respect others?
Understand you can’t change how tall or short you are, hair came a certain color, eyes came a certain color. Esteem is who you are on the inside. Love yourself for who you are, tall, short, skinny, fat, glasses, braces and all the rest. If you think that you don’t feel good enough about yourself, talk to someone about it.
Now that you understand what respect is, you should always behave in a respect manner, remember your mother, grandmother, or little sister might see or hear you.
© Copyright 2013 Village Project Publishing Detroit MI 48228