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Our Opinion: Children's Fair: A positive tradition

March 26, 2001

On Saturday the Children and Parents Council staged the 22nd annual Children's Fair, an event meant to be fun for the whole family and educational for parents. Organizers deserve credit for continuing to conduct the event each year to celebrate the importance of family.

As much fun as it is, the fair is an important source of information for the people of the Valley and there are serious undertones to the event. A key component is that local agencies that provide service to parents and children are present to offer information. The Children's Fair allows parents to come in contact with agencies they might not otherwise consider looking to for help.

That is important when considering there are probably many people throughout the Valley who feel alone or isolated because of the problems in trying to raise children. Such people need help and need to know they are not alone.

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And while the fair is once a year, the agencies that can provide help are available year-round. The Children and Parents Council, for one, offers parenting classes and seminars to help young people and parents deal with issues. CAP has offered seminars on teen depression and is planning to have a seminar in April dealing with youth violence in the wake of recent school shootings in San Diego County. The CAP Council will have an open house at its El Centro office April 18.

This year's Children's Fair was a great success, with more booths, games, entertainment and food. County and Brawley firefighters were on hand to supply a cool shower to the thousands of youngsters in attendance.

It is good to see the community come together for such an event. What it shows is the people of the Imperial Valley care about our young people and are willing to do what it takes to make sure their needs and issues are addressed.

It also is good to see so many families attend such an event. If the Children's Fair teaches anything, it's the importance of children and parents spending time together doing positive things. That is not always easy when both parents in a family often work long hours. We urge parents to take whatever time they can to talk with their kids. A little time each day can make a big difference.

If parents do that and realize they are not alone when dealing with problems, we can all make sure our youth grow up in as positive an environment as possible.

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