The Alabama Family Rights Association encourages the entire state of Alabama to participate in this year’s “Family Day/Week.” On the last Monday of September (Sept. 30), Family Day brings together communities across the state and nation to celebrate the positive influence parents have on their kids.

The proclamation encourages all citizens to join together in observing this day and week by spending time with their families and by engaging in appropriate ceremonies and activities to honor and strengthen both our city’s and state’s families.

Family Day is a national movement to celebrate parental engagement as an effective tool to help keep America’s children substance-free. Families are the cornerstone of an orderly society. However, over the last several decades Alabama families have grown progressively weaker. Family Day in Alabama has evolved to “Family Week” and expanded to reflect the importance of connecting with children throughout the week/day and making a concentrated effort to implement programs that stress the importance of a child’s needs and the importance of interacting together as a family.

Data indicates when both parents are actively involved in a child’s life, the outcome is measurably improved. Children spending significant time with their parents and family members decreases the chances of youth suicides, school dropouts, juvenile drug abuse, teen pregnancies and incarceration. Research shows that children with hands-on parents are far less likely to exhibit risky and disruptive behavioral problems.

This is an important community and state initiative to remind parents, communities and leaders, that a child whose parents are not engaged and involved in their upbringing and care is a child “at risk.”

Show support for children and family on Monday, Sept. 30 and anytime during the week of Sept. 29. Families should eat a meal or do some other activity together. Family Day/Week event ideas include organizing a block party in your community, hosting a potluck at church, games that include the family, eating dinner as a family and using conversation starters or movie night at the park or library.

Activities like these will remind everyone of the precious nature of childhood and the responsibility as adults to protect and encourage children.

AFRA encourages residents to capture memories during family week. Take a photo or video with everyone enjoying time together. Residents are also asked to post pictures on your favorite social media channels using the hashtags #MyFamilySelfie and #FamilyDayAL19.