Village Elders



Policy Makers, Board of Education & City Council members, Funders, Community, Civic and Faith Leaders

There will never be enough money or resources to “buy” all the “services” necessary to meet the needs of children, parents and all the people and constituency groups in your community. More and more over the years we have relied less and less on neighbors helping neighbors. We pay for professionals and services to take care of things that family and neighbors used to tend to when communities were smaller and shared a sense of purpose and responsibility.

We can’t go back, but we can carry forward the lesson that neighbors can help neighbors. The most underutilized force and resource in the community – children and youth – can help other children and youth.

There’s a story to share. It’s called: Money Can’t Buy Me Love. You may find it familiar.
Here’s how it begins:

 Money Can’t Buy Me Love©

The best teachers are those who show you where to look,
but don’t tell you what to see
—Alexandra K. Trenfor

What would we be doing when institutions that matter in the lives of children were reframed as places of initiation? Institutions like schools, civic and governmental organizations and services along with recreation, cultural and faith centers would all be connected as a whole village to raise their children. The bottom line is saving money, saving our children and strengthening a community that nourishes life for all.

Historical evidence of rites of passage goes back 30,000 years. No species will maintain a behavior for that long unless it served survival. Evolution is the best evidence-based approach to educating and helping children come of age.

For more of the story click HERE 

“Money can’t buy you love” and it can’t buy what the children, parents and families in your community need. You – the Village Elders – policy makers, funders, community, civic and faith leaders can be a catalyst for making connections and hosting conversations about community-oriented rites of passage as a framework to unify all education and youth development practices.

Youth development involves connecting and enhancing environments and building competencies, which promote the positive development of children and youth in their families, in their schools, among their peers in their community and with a strong connection to the natural world. For the "bigger picture", click HERE.

The solution of adult problems tomorrow depends upon the way we raise our children today. There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing when we save our children, we save ourselves.
–Margaret Mead

Culture and Commitment, 1978

For more information, click HERE for Village Elders.


© From: Blumenkrantz, D.G. (2015) Coming of Age the RITE Way: Youth & Community Development through Rites of Passage, Oxford University Press.