H2O's First HOME ALONE Event Is A Huge Success!
On Wednesday, January 15th, H2O's HOME ALONE Leadership Team unveiled their program for the first time to over 60 children from the ages of 9 to 12 years old. The program’s goals are to enrich children with skills that will be essential for their independence.
It all started last May, when H2O "Help to Others" presented the concept of HOME ALONE to a group of high school students and invited them to get involved. In June, eleven high school students stepped up to the plate and became H2O's Research and Development (R&D) Team. I was one of them.
H2O's R&D Team re-envisioned the program to fit the ever-changing society that today’s children live in. We met with law enforcement, firefighters, and many others.
In October, H2O's R&D team recruited 42 more high school leaders, ranging from sophomores to seniors, to develop the presentations that the children saw at our first event.
Over the time that was spent together, not only did the program develop, but a connection between the team members evolved. H2O's HOME ALONE program not only focuses on teaching younger kids to be safe, but also provides the skills to prepare its high school leaders for the real world.
Emma Hirsch, a senior at Lakewood High School, commented, “My desire to study psychology in college in order to help kids find confidence through personal growth has only grown greater since my involvement with HOME ALONE.”
Each leader involved with HOME ALONE has put in over forty hours in the past three months. We were thrilled to finally show the community the event that we have been building for months.
The first event was full of nerves and excitement from both the leaders and adults involved. From 6:30 to 8:45pm, children and their guardians were simultaneously being taught essential skills, such as fire safety and how to clean wounds. The adults were getting directions from law enforcement officials, fire chiefs and policemen, while the children were being educated by the H2O HOME ALONE Leaders.
Each segment lasted around twenty minutes, moving swiftly and efficiently. Adult volunteers sat along in the rooms to observe the dynamic between the children and leaders. Renee Kolecki, one of the adult volunteers, said that the group leaders were well-prepared and really kept the children's attention.
Parents evaluated the program after the event. Virtually 100% indicated H2O's HOME ALONE met or exceeded their expectations and that they would recommend the program to others. Here is a sample of quotes from parents: “Lots of helpful, up-to-date info to help prepare your family transition to more independence” and “Great way to spend an evening!”
The program went very well and we are very proud and thankful for all those who were involved. There are still more HOME ALONE events, but space is filling up fast! Sign up soon! You can register online at: http://thelakewoodfoundation.org/h2o/home-alone/
Hayley Welsh is a member of H2O HOME ALONE Leadership Team. She is a junior at Lakewood High School.