This week I began the “dreaded” site monitoring visits. I say dreaded because on our end, much like yours, there is a lot of preparation that goes into the visit that, if we’re honest, isn’t the most enjoyable part of the job.

But like always, once I get into these visits they bring a much needed shot of enthusiasm; they often reignite my passion for what we all collectively do. I think this year in particular, I and we need those shots more than ever.

So I wanted to take a moment and share some of those enthusiasm shots I got this week on my visits.

It can be summed up in something Samantha Crockett said to me during my visit with Mount Rogers. She said in the beginning of the pandemic her team, like many of us, struggled. But then she asked, “how are we going to ask our families to be resilient if we aren’t showing resilience ourselves.” (I’ve assured Samantha that quote will become a frequent visitor to my future ACES presentations).

But it’s true. We are asking our communities to be resilient in one of the hardest times in recent history for anyone to be resilient. There’s no better time for us to lead the way.

One way Samantha’s team is leading the way is with their Strengthening Families program. They can’t meet in person, so to make sure the families get their materials and their food, Samantha’s team delivers those items to each participant’s home before each weekly presentation. They then carry out the program through Zoom. It’s just one way our teams are going the extra mile.

Charlene Edwards talked to me about youth focus groups RBHA is doing online. Many of our efforts in the future are going to depend on knowing how today’s circumstances are impacting our kids. So why not? Why not use this time to sit down with our kids – virtually – and get to know how they are doing. What do they need?

And then yesterday afternoon I talked with Shannon Urum and the Northwestern prevention team. They told me about a book club their coalitions are leading. Every quarter, members of their three active coalitions read the same prevention related book and then come together to discuss it. Again – virtually. What a way to not only grow the capacity of our coalitions, but to also encourage them to work together.

So thank you to those three teams. I look forward to more visits next week.

And thank you to all of our prevention teams. You are all role modeling resilience at a time when our communities need to see it most. In doing so, who knows what all we are preventing down the road. But that’s the nature of prevention many days – trusting that doing the right things in people’s lives will give them a better chance to experience right things in their lives down the road.

Have a great weekend!

One Responses

  • This is wonderful–thanks for sharing Keith!

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