Neighborhood Opportunity Network

Supporting one another in a time of crisis

Community Bridges students visit IMPACT Part 1

Posted by Bob on June 30, 2010

Last Wednesday, 11 girls from the Community Bridges Community Crusaders summer program dropped in for an afternoon learning about community. I led a community mapping workshop. During the workshop, the girls talked about what community means and how place and people interact in Silver Spring. Then, we took what we learned about community and what the students have been learning about respect and drew community maps of Wheaton, Long Branch, and Silver Spring.

Everybody can knock doors!

As part of the week-long program, Community Bridges visited the IMPACT office in Downtown Silver Spring. The girls were really interested in the neighbors campaign and wanted to try knocking doors themselves. One student asked, and I thought this was the funniest question, “Do you ever meet people who are rude at the door?” I said yes, sometimes, but we try to find some common ground and carve out some space to build a relationship.

Community Bridges at IMPACT Silver Spring with their community maps.

After the students made their maps, we talked about what they drew. I asked them to compare their maps and explain what they drew; what was important and what they had in common. All of the students drew their houses and schools. Some groups included roads, others didn’t. Some groups included stores, others didn’t. There was a lot of variety, but all of the groups took a surprisingly broad picture of their community.

Planning for the workshop, I didn’t realize how complex, how tough to communicate the idea of community is. We struggled together to brainstorm what a community looks like, how it feels to be a part of a community, and what some of the parts of a community are. I think that at the end we were all able to expand our understanding of community and ground a very abstract concept in more familiar ideas and examples.

Stay tuned for Part 2 (and more pictures!)

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