Asset Corner #86


Values shape young people’s relationships, behaviors, choices, and sense of who they are. Although positive values help young people avoid risky behavior, they also help guide their day-to-day actions and interactions. Thus, values inspire, not just prohibit. Young people who have positive values are more likely to listen to their conscience, help others, be independent, tell right from wrong, and feel happy. Ultimately, positive values help young people make their own decisions rather than imitate friends or follow trends. This month’s column will focus on Asset #26 - Caring:

Follow your good intentions with great actions
People can help and care for others directly or indirectly. Direct help is when you spend time and interact with people who need care. Indirect help is when you collect money, food, or other items to give to people who distribute the items to those in need. It’s important for young people to be involved in both direct and indirect caring.

Here are the facts
Research shows that young people who place a high value on caring are more likely to promote and model positive rather than negative behaviors. About 50 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say they place a high value on helping others, according to Search Institute surveys. If everyone cared for one another, the world would be a safer, happier, more peaceful place.

Tips for building this asset
Caring about others includes caring for a lot of different people: those in your family, neighborhood, school, community, state, country, and the world. It can also include caring for animals and the environment. Volunteering—whether for a group or an individual—is an excellent way for young people to show they care. But the easiest, quickest way to demonstrate you care? Simply smile at those around you.

Also try this
In your home and family:
Do volunteer work together as a family—at an animal shelter, a nature center, a food bank, or for another cause you care about.
In your neighborhood and community: Have a neighborhood garage sale. Use the proceeds to purchase necessities and gifts for a local family in need or donate them to a local charity.
In your school or youth program: Facilitate a reading circle in which middle and high school students spend one hour a week reading to—and interacting with—elementary school children.

By the time you read this, well over 100 community stakeholders, working on one of the seven school district’s “Focus on the Future” action teams have met at least twice. Meeting weekly since January 18th, each team’s immediate objective is to identify/develop short term, easily implementable, preferably $0 goals for presentation to the Board at their February 21st meeting. Subsequent and on-going meetings will then address long term needs, looking at a minimum 5 year horizon. Minutes of team meetings (which are open to the public to observe progress) can be found at
“Focus on the Future” Action Teams are:
Athletics & Extra Curricular Activities, Community Engagement, Finances,       Technology, Facilities Usage & District Operations, Curriculum & Instruction,       Restoring Trust in the District.
The Annual Partners In Education (P.I.E.) sponsored Pierogi Dinner is scheduled for Friday, March 3rd from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Parma Sr High School’s cafeteria. Fish & Pierogi is $10, Pierogi alone is $8 & new this year is Mac & Cheese for $5; carry-out is available.  Advanced ticket sales only, are available at all schools & the Central Office (call 440.842.5300). Also new this year is that all food preparation will be done by culinary students staffing Normandy’s Sword & Shield.
If you know someone looking to get their GED or who may be interested in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes, call 440.885.8797 or check out for details & information re all their Adult Education Opportunities. Free classes are offered at over 20 locations in the Greater Cleveland area w/many different class days/times & distance education options.
Individuals w/disabilities, their parents, caregivers and any interested families are invited to attend the first meeting of Partners for Community Connections, a new parent network supporting individuals w/disabilities and their families – . Contact Erin Hinkel at to register for the meeting taking place on Monday, March 13th, from 10:00 am to Noon at the Maple Hts. Library, 5225 Library Ln, Cleveland 44137.
Project MORE”, Parma City Schools’ student reading & mentoring initiative needs adult volunteers. Though obviously they’d like more, your commitment can be as little as 30 minutes one day per week and all material & training is provided. For details, and to find a school near you, visit or call Kira Karabanovs at 440.842.7022.
Membership on the MyCom Tri-City Youth Planning Steering Committee has been set w/representation from major community constituencies. Watch for announcements of quarterly meetings open to the community at large where progress will be shared and input solicited. Several adults and at least two student members of the Steering Committee will be attending training & participate in Youth Advocacy Day, scheduled for March 30th, in Columbus.
The Collab's (at Hanna Elem on Snow & Chevy Blvd) next Mobile Food Pantry will take place on Thursday, February 9th. Help is needed in the morning (9:00 am) to unload & set-up, and again in the afternoon (2:00 pm) for distribution.  Contact Kira Karabanovs, Dir. of Family & Community Engagement for details on how you can get involved. Email:; ph: 440.842.7022.
Also at the Collab, free tax preparation for low & moderate income families will again be available, by appointment only, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm every Wednesday, from January 25th to April 13th. Call 211 for an appointment and/or go here for more details, to make an appointment online, or if you'd like, learn how you can become a tax prep volunteer.

Visit, for more information about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them. Or go here  for great asset-based parenting tips, tricks, activities and ideas.

Gene Lovasy

Community Volunteer/Activist

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017