One of our presidential candidates has stated that it takes a community to raise a child. The Search Institute in Minneapolis, Minn., believes that it also takes a community to instill and nurture developmental assets in our children. This April, a coalition of agencies in Huron County has scheduled community meetings to explore strategies needed to build a Developmental Assets Program for Huron County. The coalition includes all of the school districts in the county, the Children and Family First Council, the ADAMhs Board, Willard C.A.R.E. group, and the Community Action Partners in Norwalk.
The Search Institute has surveyed over two million youth across the United States and Canada since 1989. Researchers have learned about their experiences, attitudes, behaviors, and the number of developmental assets at work for these young people. As the result of this research, the Search Institute has identified 40 developmental assets. They have organized these assets into two groups, external and internal. The external assets include relationships, experiences, and opportunities provided by nuclear and extended families, caring adults and peers, neighborhoods, and institutions within communities. The internal assets focus on the commitments, values, skills, and outlook on life that guide young people's choices.