It's about the children.
Summer Hansen, founder at nonprofit Children's Day USA, said that she wanted a platform that encourages the community to uplift youth and promote environmental activism. That's why, 25 years ago, she founded Children's Day, a nonprofit focused on bettering the Long Beach community, starting with the children, she said.
"Together we are creating a new custom where everyone does good things and creates more peace, love and happiness in our world," she said.
This year, Hansen is celebrating the nonprofit's 25th anniversary, and like every year, there's going to be a week-long celebration of community and environmental activism.
"Every year we try to link Earth Day and Children's Day together and make it a celebration," Hansen said. "We're trying to inspire young people to look at how they would make Long Beach a better place, and then have them go out and do it."
For one week, starting this Saturday, April 20, the nonprofit is asking Long Beach area youth to do something good for their neighborhoods. That can be picking up trash, hosting a neighborhood barbecue or pulling some weeds at a community garden. Small acts make all the difference, Hansen said. There's also going to be a party.
The public is invited to celebrate from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, at Scherer Park, 4600 Long Beach Blvd. on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Del Amo Boulevard.
Event activities include children's choirs, dancing, singing, drumming, multi-cultural shows and more. A parade will kick off around 1 p.m., lead by the Long Beach Area Boy Scouts, Hansen added. Food and beverages also will be onsite.
Another event will take place the following weekend, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, at El Dorado Park, 2400 Studebaker Rd. at the park's duck pond at the corner of Stearns Street and Willow Street. Event goers can bring their picnic lunch, enjoy the outdoors and meet a new neighbor or two.
"This one is like a networking event," Hansen said. "You can meet other people who want to do good things in their community too."
And Children's Day isn't just a Long Beach event.
In 2008, then-state senator Alan Lowenthal signed a declaration making the last Saturday of April Children's Day, as well as the last week of April as Children's Week. It also passed the Assembly, Hansen said, and can be celebrated statewide.
“We want everyone to celebrate Children’s Day wherever you are, so that doesn't have to be in Long Beach," Hansen said. "No matter where you are, you'll know what your project is because you'll feel it in your heart."
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at email@example.com.