From our desk: A bimonthly newsletter exploring community, parenting and play

From our desk: A bimonthly newsletter exploring community, parenting and play

Newsletter

“There can be no keener revelation of society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”.  Nelson Mandela.

Welcome to the Bi-Monthly Newsletter from Parents’ Nook. This space we are creating is a space of reflection and action. We are trying to create care-spaces for families based on the local parenting community’s needs and thus creating a local economy thriving through the public goods phenomenon. So we encourage you to participate. We believe that on-the-ground community experimentation will provide us the inspiration and guidance needed for taking the project ahead as per individual community’s needs. Our aim is to build complex adaptive systems for parenting communities attuned to the needs of the people and little humans participating in it.

Our dream: We reimagine a world where Nooks collaborating with neighborhood public spaces may become a futuristic public good scenario, and support and regenerate the community care-economy in the process.

Co-creation, community and motherhood

As we work together on making the Nooks a reality post pandemic, many questions ponder in our mind, one such word is co-creation and what it means for us, in this newsletter we would love to dig deeper into the word co-creation and how community members might be able to co-create the experience together. We invite you to give it a read.

Michael Tomasello, a linguist and a psychologist at Duke University, argues that culture arose as we began co-operating in increasingly larger groups, we first developed what he called “shared intentionality”, the ability to work together with other human beings and understand our mutual goals and intentions. Research also suggests that the sense of community —-of being a part of a larger whole over space and time—--may be critical for human happiness. It also says shoring up prosocial communities may also just enhance individual and collective well-being.

In a similar note, Sarah Hrdy, physical anthropologist, looks at human babies from the perspective of evolution. She mentions in her book “Mothers and others” how caregiving and our relationship between caregivers and children actually evolves, and she makes the very interesting argument that our particular evolutionary niche is such that we can’t just depend on mothers to provide care and actually, we need a whole community of care givers to raise a child.

Quoting Sarah Hrdy “ We began raising our young ones in large groups, co-operating with one another to shoulder the task of vulnerable infants into thriving adults. She draws from wide-ranging sources of evidences from the genetic to the endocrine to the archaeological, to argue that the origins of human sociality and our incredibly sophisticated theory of mind may be tied to the human practice of turning to multiple caregivers for support”.
It also points us towards a society where it is much easier for parents to be with the children and to combine work with taking care of their children, which is what we would have had in our evolutionary past.
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If we want a flourishing parental community, we need to ask the question whether parents are offered such choices in our society and what is it that is missing? How might we be able to make the parenting journey more embedded and supported in our society? How might technology step in there?



We look forward to your questions and having a conversation with you all and how do we co-create such a world?

How co-creation looks in Nooks at this moment?

Our research work and live Nooks data on ground have led us to believe that conditions can be made right for parental communities to feel supported by facilitating co-creation, collaboration and resource exchange amongst the purpose-aligned individuals thus creating an ecosystem where connection between parents, space collaborators, educators, caregivers  becomes a reality. These micro-communities would make visible the opportunities to connect, collaborate and share resources within individuals and communities. Such a system might result in a new societal framework centered on children, families and communities , which begins on the first day of life and recognizes that the child’s early years are an essential part of the education and the care continuum.

When we say we are co-creating Nooks, it involves various individuals co-working together to make it a reality.This co-creation is based on the overarching set of guidelines of the ecosystem based on our common purpose, codes, connections and actions that allow parents/caregivers/facilitators and space collaborators who are being part of the ecosystem to support and co create a Nook. All initiatives are developed with mutual support and understanding between parents, space collaborators and facilitators/co-hosts/co-creators. We have realized that this framework can work both locally or globally in an interrelated way.

Our vision and dream

“These micro communities would enable each community to design the circles in their own way overarching with our common set of beliefs. This would generate local coordination, trust and employment in the local community.Through this model we are remixing historical Cooperative Organization models with decentralized Web3 needs.”

Co-creation of the Live Nooks with local educators and researchers
The Nooks @Oakland Museum will be co-created and facilitated by Clare, Clare is an educator working with children for many years. She has experience with  holistic methods of caregiving and she loves children. An active perma-culturist , a musician and an artist, her work as a somatic sound healer is something which fascinated me. She lives in Oakland. Clare plans to introduce sound healing to children in the circle time. We are excited on how it unfolds.

The referral network that helped us in this co-creation:

Clare was referred by Virginia, we know Virginia through Santa Cruz Nooks. She has lead many Nooks in Santa Cruz Museum and a few other places in Santa Cruz pre pandemic. Virginia is a mom, an educator, a musician and an active community member in Santa Cruz.

We believe in this trust network that gets developed through referrals.

In this co-creation effort facilitators are invited to join our orientation program designed by our play team. Play team is lead by an educator having more than 20+ years of early childhood experience in various settings. The play spaces and environment are an effort of continuous iteration  based on feedback from everyone involved. The design and creation of the space over arches with our common mission and purpose.

Introducing Maker space with Nancy Otero for children in the age range of 6-9 yr old:

We are delighted to introduce you all to Nancy, a researcher and scientist and founder of the company Kitco, Nancy is planning to introduce open-ended maker space for children between the ages of 7-9 yr old in a Nook settings. More details coming soon.
We believe by offering kids a safe and nurturing space where they can tinker with materials and be guided if needed is vital for their creativity.

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Echoing Zachary Stein's words : "Conditions can be made right for educational communities to spontaneously come together. Technology can allow larger and larger networks of collective intelligence and wisdom to emerge."

We are  grateful for these wonderful scenarios that are emerging as a collaborative effort and eventually we dream of guiding and co-creating the Nook space where open ended play and care for children and parents become the norm in each neighhorhood.

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How you might be able to participate in our ongoing Nooks @Oakland Museum

If you are participating for the first time, we request you to fill up the registration form:

Registration Details
Our Mission: Families need open-ended childcare and accessible resources that are an integrated part of their community. We need environments where our kids can flourish. Parents are struggling to balance work and parenting. Basic human needs -- connection, security, community -- are going unmet. Th…

You might want to reserve your spots here once the registration is done:

Reserve/Book a Nook:
Reserve your spot for a 4 Hr Nook: Reserve your spot for a 3 hr Nook: Reserve your spot for a 2 hr Nook:

More details about the offerings @Oakland Nooks here.

Lastly ending today's note with a quote we deeply believe:

“If a community values its children, it must cherish their parents” John Bowlby.

Who are we: We are a network of parents, educators, play advocates, space collaborators, technologists, researchers, community organizers, and artists trying to create the world we believe in. We believe these care spaces are essential to the survival and well being of parents and children.These micro communities would enable each community to design the circles in their own way overarching with our common set of beliefs. This would generate local coordination, trust and employment in the local community.Through this model we are remixing historical Cooperative Organization models with decentralized Web3 needs.

If our work and research work interests you we would love to hear from you. Any feedback/suggestions are very much appreciated as we build together. Reach out to us play@parents-nook.com

With warm regards

Stewards

Parents' Nook Community