Start Small. Dream Big.
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference. Like the small child with the big dream, who grows up to achieve big things. And the small steps we can all take to make a big difference in the lives of Alaska’s kids and families.
Through our Start Small. Dream Big. campaign, we hope to inspire all Alaskans to recognize the big potential of our littlest community members, and to take those little steps that can make such a big difference in their lives and the future health and success of our community.
View our Interviews
Hear the inspiring stories from real Alaskans about the small moments that made a big difference in their lives.
Jason Dolph, Anchorage Fire Department Captain
Apayo Moore, Artist
Lakhita Banks, BP Teacher of Excellence
Paul Thacker, Professional Snowmachiner
See our commercials
Small steps you can take
We can all work together to make sure the littlest Alaskans grow up to achieve their biggest dreams. Here are some small steps you can take to make a big difference – whether you are a parent, neighbor, teacher, coach or friend.
- Talk to your kids. Ask questions about their day, interests and friends. Or research some “conversation starters” to jumpstart interesting discussions and get your kids talking.
- Parents, make a point to eat dinner together at the table with your kids. This dedicated family time can make a lasting impression and be more important than you realize.
- Teach a child something new – whether it’s how to ride a bike, cook a meal or change a tire. Involve them in what you are doing, answer their questions and encourage their participation.
- Take a break. Taking a short break from what you are doing – shoveling the driveway, paying bills or doing the dishes – to give your child a hug or answer a question shows that they are important to you. Your task will still be there later.
- Encourage your child to try things that may be new or challenging. Be patient and encouraging. Let them know you believe in them, and that they can succeed even if they don’t get it right the first time (or tenth)!
- Create opportunities for children to learn new things, use their skills or explore career interests. Love art? Take them to a museum or find a free community art class. Want to be a pilot? Visit an aviation training facility or find a pilot to introduce them to. Interested in being a veterinarian? Take them to your pet’s check-ups or volunteer to walk dogs at the animal shelter.
- Praise your child. Find opportunities to tell a child that they are doing a good job and that you are proud of them. Encourage them to develop their skills and pursue their dreams.
- Learn something new together. If your child expresses interest in something you are not familiar with, research it and learn together.
- When your child does something wrong, take the opportunity to explain why it is wrong, what he or she could do differently next time, and how he or she can make it right.
- Remember that children are always watching and listening. Your words are powerful and can have a profound positive (or negative) influence on a child. But watching your actions has an even greater effect on a child. Lead by example and choose the words or actions you hope your child would choose.
- If you see a child in need, or suspect a child is in an unhealthy or unsafe situation or environment, care enough to call.