20 Sep What Kids Need to Succeed Revisited
In 2000, the McPherson Chamber of Commerce Leadership McPherson program was one of the 17 leadership programs invited to participate in the Kansas Community Leadership Initiative (KCLI). It was a privilege to have this opportunity to bring our program into the 21st Century by providing an actual leadership skilled based experience, it also opened the doors for other programs offered by the Kansas Health Foundation. Their mission was for Kansas to be the best place to raise children and they used the leadership programs as the vehicle to get the message out. This mission gave the leadership programs a focus and that if it’s the best place to raise children, it will be good for us all.
During our training by the Kansas Health Foundation we were introduced to the 40 Developmental Assets. The assets play a significant role in the success of a young persons’ life. A few of the assets include: family support, caring neighborhood, parent involvement in schooling, safety, positive adult role models, time at home, bonding to school, honesty, restraint, self-esteem and sense of purpose. The Chamber then implemented the training and added the developmental asset piece to the leadership program. When the leadership class completes the program, they take what they have learned and create a project that benefits the youth of McPherson.
Over the years, the information regarding the developmental assets has been diluted, but with the new initiative of the USD #418 and the Ready by 21 Education Pipeline it is time to put the emphasis back into the program. The Chamber has been meeting with various community leaders and educators about how we can all work together to accomplish every aspect of what a young person needs to be successful. It is not the responsibility of the school alone, these are our children and our responsibility. The reality is, we are asking parents, caregivers, etc to nurture children and help them grow up healthy by providing positive experiences. So how do we do it? Can we do it? We have to do it!
Why does the Chamber care about creating a healthy, positive environment for young people? Kids who receive at least 25-30 of the 40 Developmental Assets are more likely to succeed in and contribute to their community. Efforts to build assets in young people is an investment in tomorrow’s workforce and leaders.