Nurturing, tending, providing fertile ground and room to grow. These are the tasks for dedicated gardeners and, in the field of youth development, young people are the bounty of our community garden. The responsibility for raising healthy young people is a shared one and, with the proper care, they can grow to become engaged learners with strong connections to family, peers, and school. They can become problem solvers, makers of healthy decisions, and contributing members of their communities. While cultivating healthy, resilient young people can be a challenge for even the greenest of thumbs, research has provided us with the Developmental Assets Framework to help us meet that challenge and provide a healthy environment where kids can thrive.
The Anchorage School District (ASD) adopted the Developmental Assets framework as a basis for youth development and academic achievement in 1996. Since then, the ASD office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (SDFS) has led intentional asset building with students, staff, and families throughout the district. Many of these and other school-based efforts that have been instrumental in advancing student success are highlighted in the book:
Helping Kids Succeed – Anchorage School District Style.
After 10 years of applying the asset building message in the district, SDFS and ASD staff have firmly embedded the developmental assets framework into the vocabulary of the district. The Anchorage School District hopes the efforts noted within this book will inspire other districts and schools to enhance their own youth development endeavors through the adoption of the Developmental Assets framework.
Gain insight into Anchorage School District’s School Community Asset Initiative (SCAI), where 4 schools participate in a 3-year program to intentionally create caring, asset-rich learning communities that facilitate student’s academic successes. Learn about efforts to further involve parents and families in their children’s schooling. Get ideas about cultivating the relationship between a positive home environment and a positive school environment for students, which studies show is directly connected to improved achievement and behavior. Find out about collaboration efforts helping to create a positive atmosphere around Anchorage and how strong community support in your area can contribute to establishing healthy, resilient root systems necessary for young people to thrive.