Letter: New School Year Calls for Renewed Youth Asset Building
To the Editor-
In 2003, the Portage County Board of Supervisors passed resolution #126, stating that the Developmental Assets promoted by SEARCH Institute would be a guideline for county members to promote and develop in youth.
SEARCH Institute, a research facility from Minnesota surveyed over 100,000 students to find what qualities they had that would help them develop into mature responsible adults. From that research they determined there were 40 qualities or building blocks that all who work with youth could build in them from birth to age 18.
Since that time, schools, religious youth groups and groups that work with youth have continued to work with these assets and we are grateful.
As a new school year starts, a fresh approach to building the assets would seem to be in order. Whether you are specifically giving credits to the assets or using other building blocks, the aim is the same. To build resilience in youth is a task for all of us who know and work with them.
One can go to www.TED.com and to www.search-institute.org.to find the keys to building assets in youth. Teachers, parents, and all who work with youth will be most successful if they develop an assiet-building relationship with each child.
During the summer, older youth were observing anger due to racial or religious differences in the news media. We fear for the development of youth here and abroad who will not have role models to demonstrate peaceful conflict resolution or provide safe places for them to grow. There are people of peace all over the world, but too often our media shows us those who are not.
So for the future month what can those who work with youth do?
- Get a list of the Developmental Assets by going to www.search-institute.org and printing them out and posting in the room you serve or on the refrigerator at home.
- Be PURPOSEFUL as you provide asset-building opportunities for youth.
- Ask the youth to indicate which assets they believe are their strengths. Use age appropriate language as ALL youth can learn what is important.
- If locally you need help in promoting these assets, check out the library for books on them, contact teachers or youth groups engaged in asset-building, OR contact Portage County Alliance for Youth at [email protected] for materials and help.
We are ALL Asset Builders! Have a good month of doing so. Thank you ALL for caring about youth.
Mary Ann Krems, Portage County Alliance for Youth www.pcayouth.org
Paul Vidas, President of Nvolved.Inc at www.nvolved.com.