All Kids Are Our Kids offers an approach to unleash the extraordinary power of community when people unite around a widely shared vision of healthy child and adolescent development.
All Kids Are Our Kids introduces forty Developmental Assets building blocks of healthy development that are essential for all youth, regardless of their background. The challenge for all segments of the community families, neighbors, schools, congregations, employers, youth organizations, and more is to share in the responsibility for taking action to ensure that all kids have what they need to grow up healthy, successful, and caring. This new edition includes new evidence, cites successful cases, and makes recommendations for energizing individuals, families, and community action.
Praise for All Kids Are Our Kids
"A practical, concrete blueprint for helping young people succeed because of supportive communities."
Donald T. Floyd, Jr., president and CEO, National 4–H Council
"For two decades, Peter Benson has been America′s most eloquent and persuasive voice for a new, positive approach to enhancing the lives of our nation′s youth. If policy makers, practitioners, and researchers read only one book about how to act in support of our nation′s youth, then this is it!"
Richard M. Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and director, Institute forApplied Research in Youth Development, Eliot–Pearson Department of Child Development, Tufts University
"Peter Benson continues to remind us of how far short of the mark we have fallen in meeting the needs of our youngest generation. But then he provides a gift: a unifying vision that we can all rally around: parents, neighbors, youth–serving organizations, and ultimately whole communities committed to the healthy development of all our kids."
Judy Vredenburgh, president and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
"Benson′s approach is the best formula we have for building communities to meet the developmental needs of young people. Anyone who is concerned about the future of our society should read this book."
William Damon, professor of education, Stanford University, and director, Stanford Center on Adolescence
List of Figures and Tables ix
ONE Looking Through a New Lens 1
PART ONE BRINGING OUT THE BEST IN ALL KIDS
TWO Naming the Positive: The Concept of Developmental Assets 23
THREE Developmental Assets: The More, the Better for All Kids 59
FOUR Directing Energy to Asset Building: Critical Culture Shifts 99
PART TWO WHAT WE ALL CAN DO
F I V E Creating Asset–Building Communities: Principles, Strategies, and Impact 119
S I X Energizing, Supporting, and Sustaining Community Change 153
SEVEN Mobilize Young People: Tapping Their Power to Build Assets Themselves 191
EIGHT Engage Adults: Unleashing the Power of Intergenerational Relationships 205
NINE Activate Sectors: Integrating Asset Building into Community Institutions 241
TEN Invigorate Programs: Creating Asset–Rich Experiences for Young People 275
ELEVEN Influence Civic Decisions: Seeking Common Ground on Behalf of All Kids 303
POSTSCRIPT Choosing a New Path 331
A Selected Scientific References for Search Institute s Framework of Forty Developmental Assets 339
B Not Just for Teenagers: Developmental Assets from Birth to Age Eighteen, and Beyond 357
C Selected Resources 377
About the Author 415
Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA (
Library Journal, November 1, 2006)