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April 2024


"The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said." - Peter Drucker

I recently read that “information has always been essential to democracy. It’s a societal good, like clean water. But many now find it difficult to put their trust in the media and experts who have spent years researching topics.” In our post-COVID world, people tend to “listen to those who have the loudest voices. Those uninformed views are amplified by social media networks that reward those who spark outrage instead of insight or thoughtful discussion.” Fair and balanced communication is under attack. It’s fast becoming a lost art.

The Art of Communicating is effective communication that promotes understanding and harmony. “It emphasizes active listening, compassionate speech, and the importance of mindfulness in communication. With mindfulness we can produce thoughts, speech and actions that will feed our relationships and help them grow and thrive.”

I learned that “the art of communication involves the transmission of information from one source to another to convey a specific message in order to elicit a desired reaction or result. By delivering messages clearly, there is no room for misunderstanding or alteration of messages, which decreases the potential for conflict. In situations where conflict does arise, effective communication is a key factor to ensure that the situation is resolved in a respectful manner.”

In response, the historic Community House recently commissioned and partnered with A & K Research, an independent outside research firm to create and administer a confidential electronic survey to past and current users of our 100-year-old historic Community House – to over 17,000 households, businesses and civic/governmental employees. Feedback from this once in a decade survey is being kept strictly confidential; all individual responses are being combined with other respondents and not divulged to anyone. The electronic survey ended on March 8th.

The primary purpose of the survey is for The Community House to actively communicate and listen to past and future users of our services and facilities, to hear about our employees, about our brand and the community’s perceptions of our century-old organization, to understand today’s societal needs, to ultimately help us collaboratively chart a modern path forward - as we enter our next hundred years of uninterrupted nonprofit service. The goal of this extensive survey is for The Community House to effectively communicate with others, those we serve or have served, in a positive, thoughtful, and meaningful manner. Stay tuned for the results.

Also, in response to refining the art of communication at The Community House and its Foundation, in a quiet voice, we are delighted to announce the launch of our first-ever Community House Association and Foundation’s joint quarterly electronic newsletter – 380 Bates.

One question we never get tired of hearing here at The Community House is “What’s new?” That’s because at any given time, there is always something new and exciting in the works that we can’t wait to share. So you can imagine how ecstatic we are at this time to introduce The Community House’s new quarterly electronic newsletter with you.

This lively, informative, and visually inviting publication is designed to keep you up on all the various departments and activities of The Community House Association and The Community House Foundation. It will feature timely updates on our culinary programs, hospitality offerings, and the overall management of our facilities. Current information about the Early Childhood Center, partnerships, and fundraising will be included as well. Additionally, it will keep you informed on our upcoming events calendar, giving you plenty of advanced notice so you can arrange your plans to enjoy each and every one.

Each newsletter will also carry a main lead article. This first issue “now online” features an in-depth story about the 2024 Bates Street Society Dinner that showcased and honored many key pillars in our community, and the notable contributions they have made for the betterment of our community.

We’re also very thrilled to mention that The Community House itself has also been the recipient of some prestigious recognition. For instance, we have earned multiple awards and mentions from The Knot, the nation’s premier wedding-themed website. We’re particularly honored to have been selected as a recipient of their highly regarded 2024 Best of Weddings award and inducted into the Best of Weddings Hall of Fame.

Quality people continue to be our most valuable resource. And we proudly wish to express appreciation and recognition on behalf of our TCH employees. As always, they are to be commended for their hard work and dedication, both as individuals and as a team. Their “Whatever it takes” spirit plays a vital role in assuring that the extraordinary events and programming we offer will always exceed expectations and keep The Community House alive and thriving.

So, with that, we invite you to enjoy our first edition - to enhance The Community House experience. We’re already looking forward, as we hope you are, to the next issue in June. As for day-to-day updates, they can still be found on our website at and on various social media outlets. Meanwhile, be assured that we will continue working hard to keep you informed about the exciting programs and events that await you at The Community House. And if you still want even more details, feel free to contact any one of us and ask, “What’s new?”

Note: If you did not make it to our recent electronic newsletter distribution list, please contact Ms. Julie Smude, Director, Administrative Services, The Community House Foundation at to be included on our next electronic distribution list.


The Community House’s Early Childhood Center is excited to announce we have a rare, limited number of spots available for our preschool program.  With the use of the nationally recognized High-Scope curriculum our amazing teachers are ready to set the foundation of your child’s academic success.   Our curriculum uses a whole-child approach to learning, where the child is encouraged to create and execute their plan through hands on classroom exploration. Our program encourages independence, decision-making, and conflict resolution and students graduate from The Community House ECC ready for kindergarten with confidence and the ability to creatively problem solve.

With the end of the school year fast approaching, coupled with the graduation of our Pre-K and Junior K+ students, we are now accepting Fall 2024 openings in our award-winning, High-Scope Early Childhood Center. Registration is now open. We are accepting applications for ages 0-4. Please contact our Senior Director/Head of School, Ms. Sarah Schuster, at or call (248) 594-6411 to learn more about our program, to arrange a tour, or to secure your child’s spot.

For reservations, sponsorships or more information about booking gathering and meeting space for 2024 and beyond, please go to or call 248.644.5832.

The historic Community House is a solely independent nonprofit 501 c 3 charitable organization. TCH is not and never has been supported by tax dollars or millages.

William D. Seklar is President & CEO of The Community House Association, and Board Chair, President & CEO of The Community House Foundation in Birmingham.


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