Building Community in West Birmingham

Having the honor of working as an Assistant Principal at Wylam K-8 School, yields the privilege of being a community stakeholder for the West Birmingham Area. This opportunity includes participating in the awesome event: West Birmingham Network Night. Network Night is a community event held twice a year, sponsored by Wylam K-8 School, Ed Network, and Faith Chapel Christain Center. All community members are invited to a literal circle to share and engage in discussions about challenges and solutions. Some of the talks on last night included: Community Blight, Career Day Activities for Wylam K-8 School, School Safety for Student Crossing for Wylam K-8 School, and Resources and Ideas for 3rd Grade Boys.

Everyone in the circle takes the initiative to help someone else in the circle. The activities, add value to everyone. This value means each person has a voice, a gift, an idea, a suggestion, an item, a talent, a name, or a phone number. Near the end of the night, attendees have the opportunity to participate in an exchange of problems and solutions.  One person is free to give, and another person is free to receive. It may be a reception of knowledge or connection, and not necessarily a tangible item. At the end of the night, individuals leave out with something they didn’t have before they came through the door.

Network Night is a thriving, innovative community building strategy.  All community members and stakeholders who attend are equal.  No one voice overpowers another.  The facilitators are guides through the process.  Your only obstacle is to beat the honking horn before time is up!  No worries about food or childcare, it is all free of charge.

If you live in the West Birmingham Area, our next Network Night will take place in the spring at Wylam K-8 School. The date is forthcoming.

by Harriette Thompkins






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