I remember adults during my childhood [circa 1970] saying, “the world sure is changing.” And they were right. Computers, Cell Phones, iPads – and many other things we now consider ordinary were barely dreamt of at that time.
Some likely regard me as an ‘Adult’ now and I find myself saying the same thing in 2014 as I heard in 1974. Things are changing. Yes, technology is still evolving, but the real change is just starting to unfold. The push for decades was to go ‘global’ and, in many respects, it has been an exciting and healthy evolution to shrink our world and become closer to and better understand other parts of the world, their cultures and customs.
Today, I think, we are beginning to appreciate that ‘global’ isn’t really meaningful and enriching unless we are equally vested in our own local communities – our families, our neighborhoods, our schools, and – at the risk of sounding like an Oregonian – our watersheds.
If I could summarize the work ahead for After School Discovery in these times, the same word applies to our entire community: Transformation.
We cannot serve the same population of students in our programs, while the number needing them grows rapidly. Our Lifelong Learning commitment can’t end at age 18. There are many other ‘enrichment’ lessons that are needed now than those that we taught when ASD was founded 20 years ago. Relative to the cost of living, we have far less resources today and yet we are asked to do exponentially more work to improve our community.
Before we can become ‘Globally Competitive’, we need to come together as a Cohesive Community. That is the Transformation that After School Discovery is embarking upon, using our mission to promote Lifelong Learning as a vehicle to draw this community closer together.
Can we afford it? The easier question might be, ‘Can we afford to keep doing things the way we’ve always done them?’ And the answer is a resounding, “No!”
Grab a friend or a relative and join us this year. It is going to be a fun and rewarding adventure.