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Monday, October 31, 2011

China's report back on Fair Childcare Now! children's programming

Well it's over - and I really want to say something about how it all went. It went great! So many people worked together for this! There were new-ish volunteers from past actions that now were part of the organizing team, and that was so cool. There were really wonderful youth (about 7 or so - mostly around 12 and three 3 year olds). There were neat people who dropped in and played. There were lots of volunteers* and games and discussions. There was rides and packing up and packing down and little bags of carrots and tomatoes. and juice boxes. and hide the juice boxes, lets just stick with water. And strawberries!

There was duck duck goose, thumbs up, musical chairs, fast games, slow games. There was rain and snow. There was the buddy system. There was all these intricacies of interactions that I would love to be able to write about, I would write and write and It would take days and someone would need to edit it and cut out about at least one third to half of my words; and run spell check. But that wouldn't happen, probably.

You see I always want to write reflections from when the event is over - but I usually never do. So much preparation goes into making an event happen, and when it's over you often feel happy, satisfied, relieved, tired, and ready for the next things you need to do. So you don't write your reportback. Cuz it all feels so BIG. where to start? What to say?

So I just wanted to start a new pattern. A new personal goal. That every time an event is done I will post just a little something about it. Even if its not perfect. (Thats a lesson for me lately too, to do things, although they are un-perfect)

As the bottom liner on this, I wish I started organizing (a month or two) earlier, and this is a rule I KNOW, but all I can say, is remember that for next time. I know this stuff really well, but I still wound up doing a lot of stuff the day before (as well as the week before) and waking up to finish packing and not getting enough sleep so I was sleepy and out of it at the end of the day. But it was ok because we had everything planned and responsibility divided and I just walked away and didn't worry about it. (my shift was past done, and they have my cell phone, I'm just in the next building)

I drank coffee and ate a brownie. And held babies. Which is great, more for me, I think. Holding babies is good for you.

I remember when I was taking a break, hearing this facilitator (on a workshop on facilitation, or group dynamics, or something) talking about that these skills - we need to learn them. We need to learn how to work in groups, there are some good tools with that. And if we learned this stuff when we were young, how useful that would be. And I thought: thats like Kidz City!

I think we are all learning how to work together, sharing different aproaches with each other. Making that space for that to happen in. And the best way to learn these skills, is just like how we were all playing those games together --- is hands on. Its much better hands on then anything I can write here. I love having an actual space to build together, our kidz city, for a day or two. Childcare and children are part of the United Workers, its not like childcare isn't something that should be an integrated part of the whole - just its great to build a space, with intentions and priorities, for youth like Kidz City too. I really see us all learning stuff, together, every time we get together. Trying to build a new model, trying this experiment and work in progress called radical childcare. I like it!

But also part of that, is the reflection afterwords. To discuss and learn for next time. So I am going to put writing report backs on my final list of things to do when planning an action, just like thanking the volunteers and organizers and asking for anyone's feedback - good or places where we have room for improvement to learn for next time- and maybe one day it will feel normal and not stretching too much to do that, just like how it now is for us to plan for food.

So, it went good!
A lot of folks helped!
Thank you,

*three volunteers on each (two hour) shift, plus one kidz city organizer doing three hour bottom lining shifts, plus some folks doing more than one shift = 13 total volunteers. There was a good amount of volunteers - I think thats really important. Keep a high ratio. You never know how many kids will show up (we had a 5-15 estimate). Organizations stress pre-registration, and it would help us prepare a lot, but many participants do not register ahead.

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