Asset Corner #89

May’s Asset Category: COMMITMENT TO LEARNING Commitment to learning doesn’t happen naturally in all young people. Instilling this important trait involves a combination of values and skills that include the desire to succeed in school, a sense of the lasting importance of learning, and a belief in one’s own ability. This commitment is strongly influenced by the school environment and relationships with family and peers. The more committed a child is to learning, the more likely it is that she or he will grow up healthy.      

This month’s column will focus on Asset #25 – Reading For Pleasure: Reading should be done for fun… Have you ever been so engrossed in a book you skipped watching a favorite TV show, didn’t hear the phone ring, or stayed up too late at night? Now that’s a good book, and as anyone who loves to read will tell you, that’s the best part of reading! Books are the way most teachers instruct their classes. But there’s also a reason for young people to read for fun. The Commission on Reading contends that reading for fun teaches young people how to become strategic, skilled readers. They learn the difference between reading for a test and reading for pleasure. They learn when to read carefully or skim, ask questions or consult a dictionary. 

Here are the facts
Research shows that young people who read for pleasure at least three hours a week (that’s only 26 minutes a day) exhibit more positive than negative values. Only 22 percent of young people, ages 11–18, read for pleasure three or more hours a week, according to Search Institute surveys. But reading—whether it’s for a grade or not—can open up a new world, transport you to faraway lands, bygone eras, or lives only dreamt of. Reading is important. It uses facts, figures, and emotions to both teach and inspire. Inspire young people to read for pleasure, and they will have a far richer life. 

Tips for building this asset
Make it easy for your child—and other young people you know—to read for pleasure at your house. Provide a variety of reading materials such as novels, magazines, newspapers, and comic books. Also, set an example with your own behavior. Don’t just read in bed when everyone else is asleep. Let the young people around you see you reading. Discuss issues with them that come up or other ideas you’ve learned from books. Finally, limit TV and computer time. 

Also try this
In your home and family:
Set aside a family reading time once a week. With younger children, read aloud together. With older children, read different books while hanging out together, or read the same book and then discuss it.
In your neighborhood and community: Volunteer to read books aloud to children in your community center, school, faith community, child-care center, or library.
In your school or youth program: Set up a book club to read popular fiction, nonfiction, or classics. Get together outside of class or during the regular program time to informally discuss the books you read. 

Tri-City MyCom Youth Planning Council….Advocacy Day, March 30th - Our two MyCom facilitators, Seven Hill Councilman Anthony Biasiotta, yours truly & 6 students from our leadership group along w/close to 100 similar representatives from other county MyCom organizations bussed down to Columbus & spent the day meeting w/area legislatures. Our group had “face-time” w/both State Rep John Barnes and the legislative aide to Senator Mike Skindell where, in both cases, our student leaders did an impressive job effectively articulating their concerns & consequences that might occur as a result of decreases in funding for Out-Of-School programming currently being considered. In response to their request, during the next several weeks our group will prepare and forward to both legislators additional documentation noting their position. 
Save the date and plan on attending the Parma Area Fine Arts Council (PAFAC) Sping Medley Art Show & Sale, Saturday, May 20th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Donna Smallwood Activity Center adjacent to City Hall. Click here for additional detail:
Pre-registration for the library’s 2017 Build a Better World Summer Reading Program starts May 1st. The program will officially begin on Saturday, June 3rd & registration prizes will be available (while supplies last) beginning then. Visit your local branch in person or on-line for details. Mark your calendars now & plan on attending
If you’re a runner/walker don’t forget to register for the 7th Annual Run-Walk For Pierogies scheduled for Saturday, July 1st at Tri-C Western Campus. Register on-line at For more information/details try - Twitter: @pierogie5k or contact Race Coordinator, Sean Brennan at 440.885.8091 email:
From the National Summer Learning Association’s (NSLA - newest partner Carson-Dellosa Publishing…. How much do you know about summer learning loss? Go here to discover its impact on academic success…. Additional helpful resources.
Have you been following the progress of the seven Focus On The Future Action Teams on their web site:  These strategic planning teams made up of community volunteers & school staff have been meeting to review those recommendations that were accepted by the Board of Education during their meeting on March 24th. Discussion is also being initiated on what their long-term recommendations may be. Stay informed; visit their web site. 
UH/Parma Medical Center will be hosting FREE Speech & Hearing Screenings, May 22nd & May 23rd for kids ages 2 - 6 at their Speech Therapy Dept  located in Medical Arts Center 1, Suite 309, 6681 Ridge Rd (on the corner opposite the Fire Station). Plan now and make your appointment for Monday, May 22nd from 1:00 - 4:00 pm or Tuesday, May 23rd from 9:00 to Noon by calling 440.743.4581. 
The Collab's (at Hanna Elem on Snow & Chevy Blvd) nextMobile Food Pantry will take place on Thursday, May 11th. Help is needed in the morning (9:00 am) to unload & set-up, and again in the afternoon (2:00 pm) for distribution. During the afternoon distribution UH/Parma Medical Center, Community Health Nurses will be offering FREE blood pressure screenings and a representative from the Parma Health Ministry will be available to help folks apply for prescription assistance

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 5, Posted 2:43 PM, 05.02.2017