It is a great pleasure to offer this volume from Michael J. Nakkula, Karen C. Foster, Marc Mannes, and Shenita Bolstrom as the latest in the Search Institute Series on Developmentally Attentive Community and Society. Its importance to the series and this ?eld of inquiry and practice is readily evident in its title, Building Healthy Communities for Positive Youth Development. Since the early 1990s, Search Institute has invited and encouraged communities of all shapes and sizes to use its framework of Developmental Assets and principles of asset building to create strong, vibrant, and welcoming communities for children and youth. We have operated largely at the grassroots level, encouraging innovation and adaptation around a shared vision, rather than proposing a program or model for replication. We seek to learn as much from the communities as they learn from us. This book offers in-depth case studies of what happened in eight diverse c- munities that took up our invitation. In them, we see a wide array of strategies and approaches that, on the surface, seem to have little coherence. But, as Nakkula and colleagues found, underlying each of these distinct efforts was a deep commitment to transforming the social norms of community life to more effectively attend to young people's healthy development throughout the ?rst two decades of life. There have been many ambitious efforts aimed at comprehensive community change on behalf of young people.
Introduction: Eight Interpretations of the Developmental Assets Framework.- The Purpose and Design of the National Case Study.- Findings from the Eight Communities: Transformation, Affirmation, and Blended Models.- Introductory Chapter to Wave I of the Study.- Traverse Bay Area's GivEm40 24.7: One Sector at a Time.- Moorhead Healthy Community Initiative: The Forgotten Neighborhoods.- Portland's Take the Time: Reaching toward 'The Tipping Point'.- Orlando's Healthy Community Initiative: Community Sustainability.- Introductory Chapter to Wave II of the Study.- St. Louis Park's Children First: Permeating Community Life.- Lawton/Fort Sill Community Coalition: Partnering with Prevention.- McPherson's Asset Building Initiative: 'Leaderful' Communities.- Nevada's Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Story Counties: Rethinking the New Frontier.- Lessons Learned: Resisting the Template.
" Building Healthy Communities for Positive Youth Development comes to us during a time when many are calling for significant school reform and worrying about growing rates of school dropouts and cases of bullying and youth suicides. Whereas many schools are
instituting antibullying programs or "dare to care" suicide prevention efforts or offering alternative programs for students at risk of dropping out, they by and large follow the deficit model approach.
Nakkula et al. remind us that canned programs of reform, built on a view of youths as being diagnosed with "problems" to be solved, well intentioned though they may be, will never prove so powerful as that group of committed individuals-the religious leaders, the teachers, the business owners-who can reflect on their deeply held beliefs and then thoughtfully act in new ways that support healthy development of our youths and our communities."
- Ellen L. Nuffer
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Explores how youth development and community development intersect and influence one another
Focuses on multiple manifestations of a community-designed approach rather than a replication of a national model or program
Builds bridges between theory and practice
Provides a unique window into what is arguably the broadest grassroots community organizing movement for youth development in the country