Signs of “Positivity” are springing up in Farm Hills

Courtesy of Karen Daly

"Farm Hills is a neighborhood that enjoys outdoor activities and socializing,” said Harvest Lane resident Laurie Lucas.  “On any given day, you will find people of all ages walking, running, biking or rollerblading.  Everyone offers a friendly hello or wave.”

Laurie is a Kindergarten Teacher at East Elementary School. She has lived in the Farm Hills neighborhood of South Hingham with her husband, Marc, and their 3 children for 8 years.

It was the highly social nature of the neighborhood that inspired Farm Hills families to engage in some recent community activities. “During this stay at home time, many of us found it important to make sure that we got our children outside for fresh air,” said Laurie.  “The goal was to encourage daily outings and spread kindness.”  Using the Farm Hills page on Facebook, parents shared activities that other communities were doing, such as scavenger hunts and chalking, and sought to implement them.

Several weeks ago, the neighborhood did “Chalk Your Walk,” an activity that encourages people to draw or write inspirational messages on their driveways in chalk for others to see.  Most recently families in Farm Hills engaged in a “social distancing” version of an Easter egg hunt.  They were asked to decorate large paper Easter eggs and hang them on their front doors.  A shareable Google Doc was used to keep track of who was participating so that families could print it and use it to hunt for eggs when they took walks or drove through the neighborhood.  “About 22-25 families got involved,” said Jamie DesRoche who organized the event.  “The kids all had fun making them different from each other.”

Everyone, both big and small, is experiencing the disruption to their daily lives.  Like most children, Laurie’s kids had a difficult time understanding what was going on at first.  But as time has gone by, they have discovered ways of staying in touch with their friends virtually, such as through Kid Messenger and video games.  And now “they appreciate the importance of social distancing,” said Laurie.

As an educator, Laurie offered some words of reassurance for parents.  “We are all ‘crisis-schooling,’” she said.  “My advice is to remember that you can only do what you can do.”  She said that spending time with family is most important as is using this time to teach our children life skills and how to spread kindness.