Shepherd Park Citizens Association: Oct. 11, 2017

Shepherd Elementary School is located at 7800 14th St. NW. (Brian Kapur/The Current/September 2016)

Communication sets the tone for a neighborhood. Shepherd Park residents continue to look to improve ways to share information and develop relationships with each other; government agencies and personnel; local organizations; schools; and businesses. Association president Mark Pattison and advisory neighborhood commissioner Stacey Lincoln are two people who use the Shepherd Park listserv to remind residents of upcoming events, call for volunteers and share important information. The Nextdoor Neighbors listserv adds information on nearby areas like Silver Spring, Takoma and Brightwood.

This past week, East Rock Creek Village’s transportation committee — networking with other aging-in-place villages — honed in on new ways to get out the news about senior services and discounted resources for moving around the area. The village committee is a part of a grant that will help focus on driver education and safety, social media contacts, and volunteer driver resources and training. Perhaps our association’s new youth board, which had its organizational meeting last Saturday, will begin to look at ways its members can record the wisdom of the elders’ life journeys as well as help seniors gain increased skills in technology.

Shepherd Elementary has expanded its involvement in D.C. Public Schools’ Family Engagement Collaborative home visits program. Meeting in homes, on the playground or at the library, eight teachers are developing key trust relationships, getting new information about their students and families, and transforming perceptions of each other. With principal Jade Brawley’s support, Madame Gadie, a French teacher at Shepherd, has provided training and shared her own experiences with home visits as well as the extended use of REMIND, a tool that facilitates two-way information and feedback.

Getting to know your neighbors can lead to new appreciation for others’ experiences and expertise. Two Shepherd Park residents reported that a meeting at the busy intersection of Alaska and Georgia avenues about road and lane signage led to an hourlong encounter and a growing friendship.

— June Confer