Community Partners, Events, In the News, Things to Do

National Night Out: Salisbury Police Station

The Salisbury Police Force is hosting a National Night Out On Tuesday, August 7th from 5:00-7:00pm! National Night Out fosters police and community partnerships to create safe and caring neighborhood environments. It provides an opportunity for community members to build relationships with law enforcement officers. There will be Police Station Tours, Touch a Truck, music and food!

This event helps build many of the 40 Developmental Assets® in youth. For instance, it provides young people with local police officers who can serve as adult role models, modeling responsible and positive behavior. This community-building initiative also helps build the assets of establishing a caring neighborhood and strong neighborhood boundaries. Events like this will help young people know that the community values them by creating meaningful relationships between law enforcement and families.

Click HERE to view the flyer for this awesome, asset building event!

Community Partners, Events, In the News, New Content, Things to Do

Georgetown Rocks Project

This past May, 6th graders at the Penn Brook Elementary School in Georgetown created a Kindness Garden as their gift to the school.  Youth and their families were invited to an evening event where they could paint rocks together that reflect the CARES values. Penn Brook Principal, Margaret Maher explained, “It will be a “growing garden,” as families can continue to add their own rocks.” This project created an opportunity to build the CARES values of Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy, Self-Control though youth and adults working together to create positive messages to share with their school and greater Georgetown community.  It is a great way for the youth to give back and feel like they can leave a positive impact for returning students.

In addition to highlighting values, this project is a great example of how Georgetown is currently building Developmental Assets® for their youth.  By creating a caring school climate, fostering creativity, supporting family involvement, promoting compassion, this project demonstrates how the Georgetown community truly values youth.  This past year, Georgetown started a partnership with the Essex County Asset Builder Network to help create and expand supports and opportunities for youth in the community.

Community Partners, Events

Youth and Adults Discuss Regional Survey Results

On May 23rd in the Amesbury Senior Center, a brave and well-spoken group of local youth presented the regional results of the Attitudes and Behavior survey, which 3,660 students took last fall. These students represented four school districts, Amesbury, Georgetown, Newburyport and Triton. This was the third Community Call to Action meeting, following presentations in Georgetown and Triton. This Community Call to Action  helped attendees understand positive youth development and learn about the 40 Developmental Assets in context of their own community looking at data from their own youth. Research has shown, the more assets a child has, the less likely a child is to get involved in high-risk behaviors. This presentation demonstrated this finding with local data and encouraged conversations between adults and youth on how we can partner together to create more opportunities and supports for youth.

A diverse group of community members attended including parents, business owners, teachers, and those working in law enforcement, youth-serving organizations, health care and local government. This wide range of perspectives fostered intriguing discussions between adults and youth about how the Amesbury community can best promote youth assets.

The survey revealed that the average youth in the region possessed 21-30 assets. The ECAB Network strives to see the majority of youth in the region acquire over 20 assets, lessening the likelihood that they will become involved in high-risk behaviors. Youth highlighted favorable statistics such as 84% of youth in the region feel that they have positive family support. They also touched upon interesting gender differences in certain assets and the change in the number of assets that students possess from 6th to 12th grade.

The meeting adjourned with community members brainstorming ways to continue to be asset builders and think of new ideas to promote youth in their communities. This Community Call to Action advocated for the philosophy that all community members have the power to promote youth assets. This positive youth development approach flips the traditional prevention approach that identifies “at risk” youth and focuses on supporting them; instead, this approach focuses on promoting all youth, because all youth could be at risk. If you’re interested in viewing the data from the Attitudes and Behavior survey, it will be posted on the school website shortly. If you want to get involved as a youth asset builder, you could receive newsletters, attend upcoming meetings or become a CHAMPION for the Asset Builder Network. If you want to learn more, please contact Tina Los at 978-992-1671 or




Community Partners, Events

Asset Building at the Salisbury Library

The newly built Salisbury Library is home to a plethora of asset building opportunities for youth in the area, offering everything from yoga, to baby massage, to reading with therapy dogs.  Terry Kyrios, Director, Joan Cox, Children’s Librarian, and the library staff provide educational and empowering programs for young people. Staff work hard to support young people, and do especially well in servicing the infant to 5 year old age range. The Salisbury Public Library staff are working hard to build assets in their community. Recent data showed that only 19% of youth in our region regularly read for pleasure. By supporting youth and shaping youth into life-long readers and learners, they are promoting one of the 40 Developmental Assets®, reading for pleasure.  By running programs that engage youth and families the library is also an opportunity for youth to find positive peer influences, build relationships with other adult role models they might not have otherwise met and feel that they are valued by the community.  Creating opportunities for youth never builds just one asset, but builds many, and creates strong community connections that will help youth and family feel supported.

Upon walking into the Children’s Activity Room, I was immediately aware of the warmth and openness of their programming. Joan Cox is constantly brainstorming new ways to increase access and exposure to the library. Since the library has received its new location, the staff have been working hard to draw people in and continue to grow their membership. In the Children’s Room, Joan Cox provides a wide range of activities to families and children. She runs a Baby Drop-In Program to help connect young families. She also runs a 2 & Under Story Hour and a Story Hour for all children. Her Children’s Room is colorful and filled with children and young families. One of her popular programs called “Sit, Stay, Read” involves a therapy dog named Prince who listens to stories read by children. Kids can sign up for 15-minute time slots, helping them to gain confidence in their reading skills and practice reading aloud. Prince visits the library most Thursday afternoons.

The Salisbury Public library also provides outreach during the summertime! Beach StoryTime is located at the beach Center on Broadway (near the carousel).  Stories and a craft will always be provided. This year, Joan is adding a new element to the program and bringing their therapy dog, Prince, for Beach Story Time! Prince is excited to make new friends! The first beach story time is Tuesday, July 17th from 10-11am. The ECAB Network is excited to support the efforts of the Salisbury Public Library in their strong asset building and ability to connect families within the Salisbury community. Their efforts to instill confidence in youth through programming is truly admirable. We can’t wait to see how the Salisbury Public Library continues to build assets in the future, and we look forward to future partnerships.

To learn more about programming at the Salisbury Library click HERE!

Community Partners, Events

Call to Action Meetings: Georgetown, Triton and Amesbury

Youth will present the regional results of the Attitudes and Behavior survey students’ in grades 6-12 completed this past fall. Attendees will participate in group discussions to identify current community assets, priority areas and possible projects.

The event will be held on the following dates:

Georgetown– Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8 PM, Georgetown High School

Triton– Wednesday, May 9, 6-8 PM, Triton High School

Newburyport Wednesday, May 16, 6:30-8 PM, City Hall

Amesbury– Wednesday, May 23- 6:30-8PM, Senior Center

All community members are welcome to attend.  We all contribute to the development of the youth in our community, not just those who have or work directly with children.  Community leaders, school staff, law enforcement, religious groups, non-profit agencies, business owners, youth, adults, seniors and concerned citizens all have a role to play.  The more voices we bring to the table, the more successful this project will be.

Students from all four school districts involved in the project (Amesbury, Georgetown, Newburyport and Triton) will be presenting.  This allows for discussion and identification of similarities across districts where we can pool resources to make the largest impact possible.

Each community has different resources and interests, but one commonality is that we want to help youth mature into successful, healthy adults.  Each community member plays a role in that development, not just parents or teachers.  Tina Los, Regional Project Coordinator for the ECAB Network acknowledged, “by joining together as a community we will create connections that will help not only the youth thrive, but help the community thrive as well”.

This presentation is possible through the work of the Essex County Asset Builder Network. A partnership of like-minded communities (Amesbury, Georgetown, Newbury, Rowley, Salisbury and Newburyport) who are committed to using a positive youth development approach to providing supports and opportunities which help youth grow into successful, healthy adults.

Community Partners, Events

Community Leader’s Breakfast

On Friday, December 1, over 30 community leaders from Amesbury, Georgetown, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley and Salisbury came together at the Blue Ocean Event Center in Salisbury to show their support for youth in their communities.  As part of the continued launch of the Essex County Asset Builder Network, leaders were invited to learn about the positive youth development approach,the 40 Developmental Assets® and how they can build assets for youth.  The hope is that leaders, legislators, and policymakers can learn about the positive youth development approach and start using a shared language and approach to decision making that will build youth voice in the community.  “The grant aims to start a culture shift around prevention from youth having problems that adults need to fix, to adults seeing youth as resources,” explained Andrea Egmont, Director, Newburyport Youth Services.  “Having leaders who can set an example and lead the way for their communities is one of the ways we can start this shift.”

Some of the leaders who attended the breakfast include (from left to right) Tina Los, Regional Project Coordinator, Andrea Egmont, Director Newburyport Youth Services, Matt Bazenas, Newburyport Youth, Mayor Donna Holaday, Newburyport, Representative Leonard Mirra, Representative Brad Hill, Representative Jim Kelcourse

If you would like to see the presentation and learn more about positive youth development and how you can build assets, you can watch the video below.

Next steps include offering FREE trainings to individuals, and organizations who want to learn more about how they can adopt a positive youth development approach.  Trainings are customizable for audience, time and topic.  Potential topics include an overview of a positive youth development approach, how to identify assets currently being built, to design programs that build assets with intention, incorporate the asset model into your current work or how to create youth-adult partnerships.

If you are interested in setting up a training for your group or organization please contact Tina Los ( | 978-992-1671).

The 40 Developmental Assets® may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only. Copyright © 1997 Search Institute®, 615 First Avenue NE, Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413; 800-888-7828; All rights reserved.