“Fair” is Where You Get Cotton Candy

This is something I say in my home, and if you bring your children to TRIBE Seminole Heights, you’re going to hear me say it there.

I don’t believe that everything should be equal. I don’t subscribe to the idea that if you give something/do something for one child, you need to do the same for everyone in the group. Sometimes a child needs a special victory, all their own. Sometimes they need a moment they don’t share with anyone. Sometimes one child just needs something more on a particular day: extra attention, supplies, or a special permission. Sometimes, there is a child in the group that always needs more.

We have children at TRIBE with special needs. It’s my job to understand what those needs are, and help them be met. I’m asking every parent who brings their child to TRIBE to understand this strategy of fairness, and if you or your child feel something isn’t “fair”, let’s talk about it. But, please, understand that ultimately, equal and fair are not the goals. I want ALL the children who come to TRIBE to feel special, and important, and loved, that’s the goal.

When you see me flying around TRIBE from room to room, bringing supplies, helping with activities, introducing kids to classes, shooing parents out of classrooms, and giving teachers reminders about the time…… I’m also looking for tiny victories for every kid. As I get to know each family, I set items and tools aside for them, and try to find ways to engage each child on an individual basis. I learn who needs a fist bump, or a high five, and who needs a hug. I learn which children prefer not be touched at all. We have lots of kids with sensory challenges, so I watch the energy and noise levels of the rooms, and for kids who look uncomfortable. I learn which kids thrive in which activities, and what their favorite parts are. When I take a beautiful picture of a child, I text it or message it to their parents. As I interview new teachers, I am always thinking of kids that could benefit from the particular program we are discussing.

TRIBE is meant to be more than an art studio, or a martial arts center etc. I’m trying to create a place where we know your family. A place where kids come and find their passions, and have a safe space to create and explore. Folks who are excited to come for the cheap classes, and expect to roll into a shiny new building with great signage, parking, coffee, and Wifi are not going to have their expectations met.

TRIBE is on the 3rd floor of a nearly 100 year old church. Our 2 large studio spaces and 6 small classrooms have all been furnished and outfitted with supplies donated by the community. Our 40 volunteer teachers almost all work full time jobs, and then come teach one evening a week at TRIBE. I’m also a volunteer, one who works at TRIBE full time, long hard days, every day. Help us create something amazing, but understand, things look different here, in the Heights.

– Kiki

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