The Community Fund of Darien will announce on Tuesday the results from a survey of 1,800 Darien teenagers from the 7th through the 12th grade.
They were asked about aspects of their lives that encouraged and discouraged risky behaviors like substance abuse.
The survey results will be made available and discussed at a 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23 forum at Darien Library.
Here’s the announcement from the Thriving Youth Task Force of the Community Fund of Darien:
Darien Teen Survey Results Are In! Some say the measure of a community’s health is how well it takes care of its most precious resource — the next generation.
In January 2018, The Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth Task Force sponsored a survey of approximately 1,800 7th through 12th grade Middlesex and Darien High School students.
The survey results will be provided to the town on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. at a Darien Library forum.
The survey yielded valuable information about what our teens think about their lives, futures, values and relationships with their families, teachers, coaches, friends and neighbors.
The ’40 Developmental Assets’
The Community Fund’s commitment to local needs assessment led us to the Search Institute’s survey of the “40 Developmental Assets” in 2008.
The Developmental Assets are key traits, experiences, skills, relationships and values that all children and teens need to grow into independent, caring and resilient adults.
The survey measures important indicators of well-being — self-esteem, positive values, family, school and community support — as well as risky behaviors such as alcohol and drug use.
We want our kids to have as many assets as possible, ideally between 31-40. Research shows that the more assets young people possess, the less likely they are to participate in risky behaviors, and conversely, the more likely they are to thrive.
The survey is an evidence-based research tool that has been administered to Darien teens in 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2018. With four rounds of data completed, we have the ability to track results historically and see areas of positive growth as well as trends in risky behaviors.
The Community Fund of Darien formed the Thriving Youth Task Force to bring together leaders in our town who work with youth for a concerted effort to promote the developmental assets in all reaches of our community.
We hope you will join us at the Darien Library on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. when we share the survey results.
Some Things Parents Can Do
As we share the survey results, our challenge to the town is to embrace the results and make a personal commitment to help improve the health, safety and well-being of Darien’s youth by promoting positive assets and working to improve our weakest.
Anyone can be an “asset-builder.”
Here are some strategies to incorporate the assets into your daily life:
—Keep the conversation going. Talk more and talk often about your values and priorities. Kids pay attention to what you say and do.
—Notice kids. Greet the kids you see around town, even if you don’t know them. Help convey that they are valued members of our town.
—Include youth in decisions of all kinds at all levels. We are often surprised by what they can do.
Brought to You by the Community Fund of Darien
The Community Fund of Darien works to improve the lives of those in our community through needs assessment, community education, and thoughtful grant making.
For more information, additional asset building tips, or to get involved, please visit our website.
To help support the work of The Community Fund, donations can be made online.
Editor’s note: As we commonly do, Darienite.com rearranged the paragraphs, broke them up differently and added subheadings.