Celebrate the younger generation in August

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By The Staff

The month of August is known as the time to head back to school in Los Alamos.

This year, the Los Alamos County Council will also recognize the month as Assets Month with an official proclamation during their upcoming meeting.

The goal of a formal proclamation is to bring attention to the community-wide objective of creating a healthy community for youth where they not only survive but thrive.

The work is done locally with the help of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce through Assets In Action.

Assets In Action (AIA) is a community building strategy using more than 50 years of research from the Search Institute of Minnesota. AIA utilizes local data gathered by Los Alamos Public Schools to develop initiatives to demonstrate how the community can value youth and add to their success.

The County Council’s proclamation will officially launch several new aspects of the Assets program to attempt to reach every portion of the community, from senior citizens to staff members at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and from high school parents to pre-school pupils.

To engage the community as much as possible, Assets In Action has searched out new ways to educate anyone that will listen through their multi-media campaign. The Los Alamos Monitor, KRSN AM 1490, LA Signs and Sound, Facebook, Twitter and texting are just a few of resources that have been lined up to get the information out to the community and her work force.

As the new school year begins, Los Alamos Public Schools has also joined the ranks to help parents gain knowledge and begin looking at local youth through the Assets lens. LAPS tech guru, Jaime Kephart, has worked to reach parents and caregivers by adding tools and resources to the district website for easy access and availability.

Another new option available through the Web sites will allow those with or without students in the Los Alamos Public School system to assist with the theory of thriving brought by SPARKS.

SPARKS seeks to find subject matter experts, in any area to provide free presentations at venues such as schools, the senior centers or as an offering for the community at large.

Assets In Action will coordinate the effort to allow doctors and do-gooders to add to curriculum and ignite the passions of community members, both youth and adults. One hope is to engaged and enrich the lives of people by maintaining information about available programming with a simple call or e-mail. SPARKS fairs will be created to allow opportunities to investigate hobbies, topics and venues for creativity and expression, which will contribute to the individual, the community and perhaps the world.

The United Church of Los Alamos has added a congregational component to the mix by donating the change from collection plates during the month of August as a way to promote the success of a local mission. Change for Change is done to support a variety of projects by the church that doesn’t fall under their general missions work. Those funds will be used to support projects not covered in annual budget expenditures. Assets In Action has plans to teach an Asset Building for Congregations component for the church during the fall and winter months and hopes to offer similar presentations at other churches and synagogues in the area.

Those wishing to donate their change, sponsor a program or volunteer to assist with an activity can contact Assets In Action at 661-4846 or via e-mail at AssetsInAction@att.net. The Assets framework is available in a variety of languages including; Chinese, Russian, French and many others and is available from the local program.