Workshop focuses on how to build strong adult-youth links

We asked; they answered! Attendees at a June 15 workshop, “Building Developmental Relationships With Youth We Serve,” used index cards to tell us what they learned that day at the Ford Family Foundation.

“If everyone realized the small differences they can make in the life of a child and gave … the gift of their time, we could change more lives for the better,” said one participant.

Presenters used material from the Search Institute to help adults learn how to connect with teens and kids. The Search Institute cites 40 Ways Anyone Can Build Assets, which are positive qualities and experiences that help young people grow up healthy. Another session will take place Sept. 18; watch for alerts on this website.

Meanwhile, here’s what some of the workshop participants had to say about their experiences and what they learned:

Question 1. What learning impacted you most today?
“How my daily interaction can mean so much to the kids I work and live with.”
“The power of simple actions.”
“Small, individual actions can mean a lot to the other person.”
“Affirmation that each opportunity can have an impact … have new confidence to continue making this a priority.”
“I learned that building relationships with my students is just as important as teaching academics.”

Question 2. What will you do differently as a result of this workshop?
“Plan on integrating additional questions that are specific to what a teen is passionate about and if they are working towards that in their life.”
“I will be spending more time having random conversations with children, to be supportive of them and make sure they don’t feel alone.”
“Intentionally make eye contact, remember names, ask questions about sports.”
“Become more involved in my own neighborhood. Talking about that made me think of how that can impact the children in our community.”
“Bring in more activities that interest children and have conversations about it.”

Question 3. How should our community respond?
“This community needs to expand creative education to all grades at least three times a week. It has great athletic programs. Also needs to instill love of reading – (perhaps instituting) reading buddies — and a) Fight like heck to not only save, but increase, the arts in our schools b) Provide opportunities in our community for kids to practice meaningful leadership.”
“I think this training should be offered to more community members.”
“Douglas County needs more access to after-school programs and sports for low-income kids. Safe places with mentors.”
“If everyone realized the small differences they can make in the life of a child and gave that child the gift of their time we could change more lives for the better.”

Learn more about the Search Institute’s Developmental Assets research HERE.