The Ready by 21 site featured the following article about Out of School Time and Developmental Assets.
How a continuous improvement model is elevating staff practices and youth engagement in a community’s afterschool programs.
Quiet. That’s what students at Enka Middle School hear as they start their afterschool tutoring sessions these days. For 20 minutes, they sit and read. No text books; the kids choose mysteries, biographies, sci fi and the like.
A little leisurely reading is a big deal for these youth, most of whom rarely read for pleasure before. The new routine exemplifies changes taking hold all around Buncombe County, where out-of-school time (OST) programs have embraced a movement to build the developmental assets that young people need for success.
Because of that movement, staffers at those programs now enlist youth in choosing and designing activities, and go through training on such things as small group activities and helping kids manage frustration. The kids are trying new things: from designing jewelry and campaigning for a new basketball court to creating skits about bullying and building a greenhouse.
Program directors “are seeing an impact on their projects,” says Gina Gallo, youth success manager for the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. The focus on youth assets “isn’t just a fad for us.” The changes started when some OST sites in Buncombe (which includes the city of Asheville) opened themselves up to assessments like never before.