We've all heard the expression, "It takes a community to raise a child."
But what does that saying really mean. Is it just a saying? Or maybe it's something by which we can all live.
A great example of making it more than a saying would be Estherville this past week.
The Friends of Fort Defiance brought a traveling ecology bus exhibit to the park Sunday. This was just one way the Friends group is promoting environmental education in our community. Look for the dedication of the Whitetail Ridge Interpretive Trail later this fall.
The Estherville Good Samaritan Society held Family Fun Night Monday. There were lots of kids who had the chance to visit with residents. It was quite heart-warming to see tears in some of the kids' eyes as they said good-bye to "Grandma" and "Grandpa", grandparents they'd just adopted.
The expanded Energizers Plus program is now at both the Estherville Public Library and the Regional Wellness Center, giving kids a great after-school opportunity. It also gives kids a place to go on Wednesday early out days.
The Back to School Bash, sponsored by Estherville Lincoln Central and Iowa Lakes Community College, was a great way to bring college and community together. Many communities suffer from the "town-and-gown" syndrome in which there's a separation - sometimes even a resentment - between the community and the ivory towers of academia. That syndrome simply does not exist in Estherville. Iowa Lakes is an essential part of the community, with its coffee house concerts, madrigal dinner and other events while the community heavily supports college scholarship programs.
So as you can see, ours is a community that heavily supports its youth and education.
And that's the way it should be - because kids are our greatest investment.