Human beings are social animals. You and I, along with many others, live in a society. A community, where we help and maintain healthy relationships with each other. Without community living, survival would be much difficult for we depend on each other for so many things.
While we, grown-ups, understand the value of community living, our children need to be taught about it to inculcate respect for our social structure and it’s people. A great place to start is educating your child about community helpers.
Who are Community Helpers?
Community helpers are people who work in the community for its overall well-being. That means they work for the people residing in the community. They solve problems that we experience in daily life. They do jobs that help you and me go about our day without any disruptions. Without community helpers, our current state would be a mess.
For example, consider your daily routine. From the moment you wake up to the time you sleep, there are endless community helpers running chores for you and the society. You make use of the sewage and sanitary systems to freshen yourself. You use roads and transportation system to reach your place of work.
All these basic, mundane activities are possible only because of the community helpers. The plumbers, carpenters, traffic police, doctors, teachers are all examples of community helpers.
Types of Community Workers
1. Those Who Keep Us Healthy
This category of community helpers includes Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics and the hospital/medical staff. These people assure we keep healthy and fit.
When we fall ill, we go to a doctor. A doctor in turn is dependent on many other helpers who support her/him in her/his work and make sure the hospital equipment and infrastructure is in place and working properly.
2. Those Who Keep Us Safe
This set of community helpers includes Policemen, Fire fighters, Traffic policemen, Guards and those working in the defense forces. All these people work together to ensure that you and me stay safe, rules are followed and bad elements do not rise in the society.
3. Those Who Maintain Infrastructure
People like sanitation workers, construction workers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, janitors, mechanics, mayors and various other civil servants work together to maintain a city’s infrastructure.
Children will understand the importance of maintaining infrastructure better when it is combined with STEM learning.
These people may not always be visible like a policeman or a doctor but they work extremely hard to ensure well-functioning of your city life.
4. Those Who Help Us Commute
People working with public transports like buses, trains, planes, cabs fall into this category. They help you travel from one place to another. Imagine how hard would it be to commute if there were no cabs, buses, planes or trains.
5. Those Who Grow Food
Farmers are an integral part of any community. They are the backbone of our food chain system. Other people who store food and are further involved in the food chain like chefs fall in this division.
Besides these major groups of community helpers, there are endless workers like teachers, store owners, clerks, librarians, taxmen, postmen, curators, administrators who contribute to the society. It is essential we recognize and appreciate all of them for their efforts. This will help our children learn and show kindness in their lives.
Community Helpers Activities to Do with Kids
1. Spot the Helper
Take a step beyond classroom and teach your child to really appreciate community workers by identifying them in real life. While some community helpers have a dress code which they adhere to, there are plenty others who don’t.
Teach your child to identify these helpers like janitors, receptionists, sanitation workers etc. and greet them. It is essential that children be taught to greet the helpers they encounter daily at school and park, just like they greet other people.
2. Community Helpers Shout-out
A simple, fun game to play with your children. What you have to do is call out the name of the community helper and your child have to shout-out a matching attribute. This is a great way to enhance their vocabulary skills.
For example when you say Doctor, your child can say coat or hospital or stethoscope. The idea is to describe the community helper using either his tools, place of work, dress or any other distinct feature.
3. Pretend Play
A favorite with kids, pretend play allows children to be imaginative and creative. Dress up your child like a community worker and let her work around a situation.
This will help your child to step into a community helper’s shoes and realize their significance.
4. Participate in Swatch Bharat Abhiyan
Be a role model and engage your children in a cleanliness drive around the neighborhood. Help them spread awareness about keeping surroundings clean and how littering is bad.
5. Visit a Local Library, Museum or a Fire Station
Give your child a real opportunity to interact with local librarians, curator and fire fighters. Such trips are nothing short of a picnic. Your children will be glad they took the trip and learned loads.
6. Pen a Postcard
Encourage your children to write simple thank you notes on a postcard and hand them to community helpers they see around their neighborhood. It is a heart-warming gesture that teaches gratefulness to children.
Teaching children about various community helpers is not enough. If we wish to raise responsible citizens of tomorrow, we must train our children to respect and appreciate these unsung heroes of everyday life.