Cover of ‘Stopping at Every Lemonade Stand, Creating a Culture that Cares for Kids.’ Courtesy photo
By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Author James Vollbracht will join Los Alamos County residents via Skype, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 29 at Chamisa Elementary School.
Vollbracht will discuss his book, Stopping at Every Lemonade Stand, Creating a Culture that Cares for Kids, and the impact of the individual in the lives of youth.
“After traveling across North America for 20 years, I began gathering stories of how ordinary people were doing extraordinary things in their schools, communities, and religious organizations to help our kids,” Vollbracht said. “I loosely based the book upon Confucius’ model for China, where he outlined a social model that began with the individual, moved to the family, neighborhood, community, nation and world.”
This Assets In Action, JJAB, Los Alamos MainStreet and Los Alamos Public Schools sponsored event is free and open to the public. Even those who have not read the book will find useful information on how to engage youth in the community and truly make a difference.
“All we hear in the media is that it’s the parents fault, the school’s fault, or we don’t have enough money,” Vollbracht said. “It’s never been about money. It’s always about individually taking responsibility for our kids within our own circle of influence – wherever that is. It’s not rocket science, but rather a simple science of caring enough to talk to the kid who carries out our groceries, getting to know our kids friends, giving them really meaningful jobs.”
The Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board funds the Assets In Action program, along with the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation and the Assets are a strong part of the Tuesday night presentation.
“The 40 assets are researched based strategies we can use immediately,” Vollbracht said. “The beauty of the assets is that it’s not airy fairy, but there’s a science behind them. For instance, kids who have three or more adults in their life are much more likely to thrive. Kids who are involved in service projects once a week are 50 percent less likely to try drugs and alcohol. Kids who have clusters of these assets are twice as likely to thrive in life. Kids with fewer assets are much more likely to be involved in high risk behaviors.”
In a society of extreme technology and fast paced lives, Vollbracht reminds the reader that we must slow down our pace and utilize the assets to engage our youth before we lose the moment.
“It’s a great way to begin mapping what’s happening in the community, school, home, at non-profits, and religious organizations rather than just throw darts at the wall hoping something happens. It’s a very conscious roadmap to what kids need not to just be successful in life, but complete human beings,” he said.
Contact 505.695.9139 for more information.