Assets In Action: Caring school environment makes a difference

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Our Asset of the week is No. 5, Caring School Climate. This is defined as when school provides a caring, encouraging environment.
One of the goals of the Change of Heart training, sponsored by the JJAB is to create a caring school climate.
We started the program about the same time we captured our previous data collection, 2009. We trained 10 students from each of the five elementary schools, and all of their counselors, just prior to the end of the school year.
The next year we trained the entire middle school in one solid week, followed by each sixth grade class, in each elementary school.
Our thought was that for the following years, to train each sixth grade elementary and those students new to the district at the middle school. It is a great service that Assets In Action and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board offers to Los Alamos Public Schools, at no cost to them.
By the end of this month, we will have fulfilled that goal again for this school year. It gives youth a chance to look at themselves, their actions, the actions of others and what they can do in the future.
The training also emphasizes the need to surround yourself with good people that want you to be successful. It tells them to make their own decisions when they know others are wrong and that every day they get a new slate to start again.

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