Spring is finally here.  And with the freshness that Spring brings, SPARK has taken a fresh look at our work.

The leaders and residents of the Itasca Area are committed to building stronger futures for all young people who grow up here.  One way each and every adult can be part of that vision is to connect with young people in our communities.

The SPARK Council commissioned Search Institute to take a look at the Youth Voices survey data with fresh eyes too.  This reanalysis focuses on the roles that adults beyond the family play in helping young people learn, grow, and thrive.  The report, Beyond the Family:  How Itasca area adults can–and do–create, strong connections with youth can be downloaded here.

We learned that these relationship really matter!  Young people with strong relationships beyond their family are more likely to:

  • Set personal learning goals,
  • To be committed to learning
  • To have everyday workplace skills
  • To be confident in their academic abilities.Capture

However, most Itasca area youth lack strong relationships with adults beyond their families.

This is a startling statistic, but we know how to respond.  Adults in our community are actively seeking ways to provide support for young people in our region.  And SPARK is eager to provide connections and support to make it happen.

We will be highlighting ways to support young people in our blog over the next few weeks.  If you want to connect with us to learn how you can be better engaged, click on our “Get Involved” link.  We’d love to talk to you.