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Any parent would know that there is nothing more important than the safety and happiness of their children. This is why a perfect home should be spacious with admirable facilities at the same time possess a safe environment with nurturing community where children can learn, enjoy, and form good relations.
This is the kind of place that families at DMCI Homes' The Redwoods now come home to. In the true spirit of community, parents and children at The Redwoods have come together to pioneer The Redwoods Kids' Club, an organization run by the resident children themselves.
With the guidance of the community's parents and the support of DMCI Homes' property management office, the Redwoods Kids' Club was launched in May 2016, and has since been hosting regular meet-ups and events, including an Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween Party, and a regular Share-a-Bike program where children are encouraged to share bicycles and teach each other how to ride.
Since its launch, the Redwoods Kids' Club has grown to a membership of over 60 kids. They have also formed the Kids' Club Council, a team of five resident kids who conceptualize and spearhead the club's activities. The council members, consists of Anissa (7), Zuri (6), Yesh (9), Nathan (9), and Ethan (11), have their own set of skills that they are eager to share with their peers in the community.
Yesh, who will be sharing his athletic abilities in soccer and badminton, said that being part of the Kids' Club gives him something to look forward to outside of school.
"You can play with your friends, experience something, and have fun," he shared, explaining that The Redwoods gives him more space to play compared to his school campus, where they can only play in the waiting area.
At the same time, Ethan, who will be teaching his fellow members how to play basketball and musical instruments, shared that he enjoys the Kids' Club because it gives him and his friends time off gadgets.
"Some of my friends play with me every day. Some of them keep playing gadgets. I don't like that. Sometimes it's very violent, sometimes you can't focus on your studies," he said. In fact, one of the objectives of the Kids' Club is to provide an avenue where children can enjoy and have fun without technology.
"As parents, there's a growing concern about gadgets, our traditional values are disappearing. We want to make sure that despite the advent of gadgets and technology, our kids grow up groundedâ€¦we wanted to expose them to physical activities that we experienced when we were growing up," shared Kristine Layaoen, Anissa's mom.
She added that another reason why they put up the Kids' Club is to optimize the space and facilities they have at The Redwoods. Apart from having their regular events, they will also be putting up a Kids Corner at the Redwoods clubhouse. The corner will be a space where children can hang out, exchange books, and hold workshops and Kids' Club meet ups.
"If you see that the clubhouse is more for grown-ups, so why not dedicate a corner for the kids?" Layaoen said.
So far, the future is bright for The Redwoods Kids' Club. In addition to their Share-a-Bike program, their other regular activity is the Sunday Playdate, where the basketball court is opened exclusively for use of the kids. In the pipeline are plans to hold small bazaars where children can learn the value of entrepreneurship by selling simple things such as lemonade or baked goods.
"We'll ask members of the community to teach. We'll try to come up with ways to pay (the kids) so they know the value of money, the value of working. It's also an opportunity for those with small businesses, for the community to help them grow their businesses as well," Layaoen added.
The Kids' Club activities allow kids to interact with their peers, as well as bond with their parents. But in addition to that, it allows the parents to bond with each other as well.
"Through the Kids' Club, the parents are also being united as one, so it builds a community also within the Redwoods," said Yesh and Zuri's mom, Josephine Samantela. "Because the kids know each other and play with each other, the parents get to know each other as well."
Indeed, the Redwoods Kids' Club is community-building at its finest, affecting not only the members of the club, but their families as well.
As shared by Nathan's dad Noel Luciano, they eventually dream of setting up groups for everyone in the Redwoods Community.
"We want to have a Teens' Club, a Senior Citizens' club, a Helper's Club. We want to offer something for all the residents. Couples, daddies, mommies, and singles -- everyone will have one," he said.
With the active participation of both the residents and DMCI Homes, this vision is not far from being a reality in the future. For now though, the focus remains on making the Kids' Club thrive.
As Samantela said, "this is
all for the love of our kids."
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