Corbett and Springdale residents united together to participate in Corbett National Night Out on August 3, 2010. Organizations such as the Corbett Grange, Columbia River Gorge Kiwanis, and Corbett School District, among others, turned out for a potluck and speakers on safety and community organizing. District Representative Suzanne Van Orman spoke about the importance of knowing your neighbor and how beneficial community activism is.
Students from Springdale Job Corps prepared culinary treats such as cream puffs and snicker doodles. They also engaged with their community by setting up a booth about Springdale Job Corps Center. Students discussed their trades, their preparation of culinary treats, and what they plan to do after graduation from Springdale.
National Night Out, ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime,’ was introduced by the Association in 1984. The program was the brainchild of National Association of Town Watch Executive Director Matt A. Peskin.
In an effort to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anti-crime efforts, Peskin felt that a high-profile, high-impact type of crime prevention event was needed nationally. At that time, he noted that in a typical ‘crime watch community’, only 5 to 7% of the residents were participating actively. Due to the growth and success of these programs, he felt this percentage was too low. Subsequently, he proposed a national program which would be coordinated by local crime prevention agencies and organizations – but that would involve entire communities at one time. The first National Night Out was introduced early in 1984 – with the event culminating on the first Tuesday in August.
That first year, 400 communities in 23 states participated in National Night Out. Nationwide, 2.5 million Americans took part in 1984. The seed had been planted. In subsequent years, participation has grown steadily. The 24th Annual National Night Out last August involved 35.4 million people in 11,310 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide. National Night Out 2008 will culminate on August 5th. Over 12,000 communities are expected to take part.
While the traditional ‘lights on’ and front porch vigils remain a part of NNO, activities have expanded considerably over the years to include block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from police, festivals, neighborhood walks, safety fairs, contests, rallies and meetings.