In an era of high tech communication and remote control everything, the days of block parties and neighborly get-togethers are few and far apart. Many of the friendly, front porch American suburbs of decades past have become streets of strangers. Thanks to the Neighbors Day Initiative Group (NDIG), a publicly supported non-profit organization that promotes safer neighborhoods through positive communication, many neighbors will finally find the time to walk outside and get to know the people with whom they share every day of their life.

Neighbors Day is a state recognized day of celebration in Ohio, and growing nationally in popularity. On the last Saturday in September (Sept. 27), Americans will once again take time out to say hi to their neighbors and try to rectify this collapse of community communication.

Michael Corrigan, a doctoral student in West Virginia Universitys Department of Communication Studies, founded Neighbors Day. He also teaches classes, such as intercultural communications, in WVU s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

Research by Corrigan and others in the department is finding that children who are more engaged and connected to their community are more likely to experience a greater motivation to learn, be more empowered in the classroom, and active in extracurricular activities. Neighbors Day and its many activities help to create tighter knit communities that work towards creating such conducive, healthy environments for children to live and learn, while lowering crime rates.

Since 1999, school systems, community-minded individuals and organizations, and crime prevention groups have taken part in Neighbors Day activities and lessons that focus on teaching youth the responsibilities of being better neighbors. Thanks in part to federal grants and corporate funding, NDIG has encouraged many children and adults to get out and do aFavor For A Neighboron Neighbors Day. In the past, theFavor For A Neighbor Challengehas awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships to kids who have experienced first-hand how good it feels to do good deeds. NGID s hope is to remind adults of the role model they are for children.

Fifty years ago everyone knew their neighbors and we did not have extreme levels of violent crime, terrorism worries and child abductions being common place,Corrigan said.Its (Neighbors Day) a real simple concept. Know your neighbors and safer neighborhoods will follow. Our children deserve it.

NDIG proposes that all neighbors take a few hours on Neighbors Day to do aFavor for a Neighborand create a stronger neighborhood network. NDIG urges all individuals and groups to start planning their future neighborly activities immediately. From your classic block party to a simpleHi, neighbor,the list of Neighbors Day festivities is endless. For more information on Neighbors Day and things to do for your neighborhood visit