At the link is a great video about the Children First community program in St. Louis Park, MN (I grew up in a suburb next door). Children First’s vision is that all kids in St. Louis Park get the support they need to grow up happy, healthy and successful in a thriving community. The organization promotes 40 developmental assets. A child who has 30 or more of these assets is more likely to grow up to be healthy, caring and responsible. The assets are divided into eight general catagories: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social competences and positive identity.
Reading through the 40 assets, I thought that Schools of Hope volunteers help provide a few of them to the kids we work with. The first is that a child has support from 3 or more non-parent adults. We are also showing that our community values young people. That not only applies to the kids we work with but also others in the classroom. We are also modeling positive, responsible behavior. And finally, we are helping them become readers who can, on their own, read for pleasure at least three hours a week. You can check out the full list of assets here.