Committed to learning |

Committed to learning

Librarians strive to focus on gaining lifelong knowledge

Colleen Lyon and Lisa Brown

Bud Werner Memorial Library supports our community’s young people by emphasizing youth literacy. Their mission is to connect children and teens to books and information in meaningful ways. Youth services librarians Currie Meyer and Alison Lambart strive to inspire lifelong learning in all youths.

The two librarians oversee free public programs that met 463 times in 2007, with 10,172 visits from youths. A variety of programs targeting babies through teens promote literacy, including the Book Pal Program in which a teen is paired with an elementary-aged child to enjoy reading together. In addition to programs, 60,956 children/teen books were checked out in 2007. The library’s focus on lifelong learning supports Asset No. 25: Reading for Pleasure.

While Bud Werner Memorial Library builds the Commitment to Learning Assets in young people, Sarah Hill, a Steamboat Springs High School sophomore, is committed to learning. Sarah motivates herself to achieve by thinking about where she will be able go in her future if she keeps her grades up. She has aspirations of either going to medical school or becoming an engineer.

When Sarah is not engaged in studying, bonding to her school by playing in the pep band, or hanging out with friends, Sarah enjoys any chance she gets to sit down and read for pleasure. She recommends the book “Inkheart” and is about to check out “City of Bones” from the library.

Last summer, Sarah also committed herself to learning about the 40 Developmental Assets and helped organize a community barbecue aimed to promote Assets and build bridges between teens and adults.

The five Commitment to Learning Assets reflect a young person’s value of and commitment to lifelong learning. According to the 2005 Search Institute’s Profile of Our Youth survey, the following percentage of Steamboat Springs High School students possess each asset: achievement motivation, 63 percent; school engagement, 43 percent; homework, 64 percent; bonding to school, 41 percent; reading for pleasure, 25 percent. Steamboat Springs High School students have an average of 16.9 of the 40 Assets.

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As young people’s Assets increase, their positive behaviors increase, including succeeding in school, helping others, valuing diversity and exhibiting leadership.

The national average for assets is 18.6. All children and young people need Assets, and everyone can build them. The most effective Asset-building occurs in communities that reinforce it in homes, schools, neighborhoods, congregations, places of employment, clubs – everywhere.

If you know of an Asset-builder in our community who deserves to be highlighted, call Grand Futures at 879-6188 or the Yampa Valley Community Foundation at 879-8632.

The Youth Wellness Initiative is a collaboration among Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, the Northwest Colorado Community Health Project, the city of Steamboat Springs and the Steamboat Springs School District.

Tips for building Commitment to Learning Assets:

From birth through high school, young people are in the process of lifelong learning. Anyone can build assets, even you.

Ages birth to 1: Sing and read to babies every day.

Ages 1 to 2: Take toddlers to new places such as parks and stores.

Ages 3 to 5: Talk about what you see whenever you are with children, and ask them to talk about what they see.

Ages 6 to 11: Help children find ways to learn more about their passions or subjects that really interest them.

Ages 12 to 15: Ask young people to teach you a new skill or about a subject they’re studying in school..

Ages 16 to 18: Place emphasis on lifelong learning, not just graduation.

Ask local youths serving agencies what they do daily to build assets in our community.

This week’s Asset category: Commitment to Learning

These five assets are internal assets. They reflect a young person’s value of and commitment to lifelong learning.

21. Achievement Motivation

Young person is motivated to do well in school.

22. School Engagement

Young person is actively engaged in learning.

23. Homework

Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.

24. Bonding to School

Young person cares about her or his school.

25. Reading for Pleasure

Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.

Visit… for a complete list of the 40 Developmental Assets.