Events, In the News, New Content

Triton spreads Random Acts of Kindness

Newbury Elementary School PTA (NES PTA), Pine Grove School PTA (PGS PTA), and Salisbury PTA (SES PTA) AKA Triton PTAs have been collaborating to help spread Random Acts of Kindness. This project has encouraged youth to think about how they can make a positive impact in their community, shows youth that adults care about them, and helps bring the community together.

Salisbury Elementary PTA president, Jen Roketenetz, said this activity is bringing out the best in her community. “We have been having so much fun collaborating on this project each week. Peeps that live in our community are just inherently kind, we are simply giving them an opportunity to shine!This project is intended not just for kids, not just for grown ups, not just for Triton- it’s for all of  us to enjoy a kind act bestowed and to bestow. Each week’s initiative is intended to be simple and achievable for all – try it on, we know kind looks good on everyone!”

You can support this initiative by liking one or all of our PTAs on Facebook or follow all the Triton Random Acts of Kindness on Facebook!

You can participate too!  Show someone you care by helping them out, or simply saying thank you.  Small gestures go a long way.  Take a picture and share with the group.  Help spread the word that kindness works!  You can reach out to any of the PTA’s if you have an idea or want to be connected to this great initiative.

Some examples of these projects can be found below.

  • I printed and shared the RAK Cards with my 2nd grade Brownie Troop, just one day later they are asking for more 🙂 My daughter, Lucy, shared hers in her classroom and by the end of the day it made thru the hands of each student! Awesomeness!
  • One “Mimi” decided to treat ALL the nail technicians in the salon to a $20 tip!
  • Michael C stopped by the book fair to thank Mrs. Chalifour for all her hard work.
  • In honor of yesterday’s act of kindness suggestion  Mrs. Pacenka’s  5th grade generated a list of ways to be kind to their neighbors. I know many of them have big helpful plans for the future.
  • I was just talking to a PGS parent who mentioned that Mrs. Coppola sent this home with all her students as a way to spread RAKs…it really is contagious!
  • SES PTA did a little sprucing up in the restrooms – hope your kiddos love them!

#TritonKind #BeYourBestViking

Michael C stopped by the book fair to thank Mrs. Chalifour for all her hard work.
In honor of yesterday’s act of kindness suggestion Mrs. Pacenka’s 5th grade generated a list of ways to be kind to their neighbors. I know many of them have big helpful plans for the future.
I was just talking to a PGS parent who mentioned that Mrs. Coppola sent this home with all her students as a way to spread RAKs…it really is contagious!
Sprucing up the bathrooms

New Content

The Results Are In!

Last fall the we surveyed youth in grades 6-12 from Amesbury, Georgetown, Newburyport and Triton school districts.  They completed the Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behavior survey developed by the Search Institute. This survey measured which assets our youth have and which assets we could help to foster.  All community members have a role in developing assets for youth, but is helpful to have the data that helps us know where to start.

View the results of the survey HERE

What role do you play in building these assets for youth? Do you have ideas of how you can build assets for youth or an initiative you’d like to start in your community? Do you know of existing programs that build assets for youth?  Do you want to learn more and get involved? We’d love to hear from you!

We work with individuals, organizations and community partners to offer support and training to help increase supports for youth.  Contact Tina Los, Regional Project Coordiantor at or at 978-992-1671 to learn more and get involved!

In the News, New Content, Things to Do, Uncategorized

Little Free Library: Helping Build Neighborhood Communities

49% of youth in our region feel as though they live in a caring neighborhood environment. Research shows that young people are more likely to be successful and feel loved if they grow up in a supportive neighborhood. Summertime is an excellent opportunity to host neighborhood gatherings and start playgroups where your children can get to know their neighbors and build friendships. By reaching out to your neighbors and forming a community, it’s easier to feel comfortable letting your children play outside and hang out with neighborhood children.

One way to encourage youth (and adults) to establish a neighborhood community and read for pleasure is by taking part in or starting your own Little Free Library! Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Visiting a little free library or starting your own helps promote assets like establishing a caring neighborhood environment where young adults can get to know their neighborhoods through a shared passion of reading.

To find a Little Free Library near you visit:

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.

New Content, Things to Do

The Importance of Setting Family Boundaries

57% of youth in our region feel as though their families have set clear rules and consequences for their behavior. This means that 57% of young people in our area possess this important Developmental Asset®, which will help them to lead regulated and successful lives. Research consistently shows that young people are more likely to exhibit positive behaviors and attitudes and less likely to become involved in high risk behaviors if their parents establish clear boundaries. Creating boundaries also includes parents knowing their child’s whereabouts. This article will help you to set limits in your home in a positive way that promotes the development of your child.

Here are some ideas on how to create fair boundaries within your home, neighborhood and community:

In your home and family: Meet monthly as a family to discuss boundaries: Are they fair? Do they still work? Do they reflect your values and principles? Adjust them as needed.

In your neighborhood and community: Communicate with your neighbors about the rules and boundaries in your family. Ask for their support. For example, neighbors can remind children to ask a parent’s permission before accepting sweets.

In your school or youth program: Divide students or participants into groups. Have each group discuss family boundaries and consequences. Identify the reason for each rule.


New Content, Things to Do

Encouraging Young Readers

According to the Attitudes and Behavior survey, only 19% of youth in our region read for pleasure. The Search Institute has identified reading “just for fun” as a protective asset in youth, helping them to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Reading also promotes greater vocabulary knowledge and encourages youth to put themselves into the shoes of others, helping them understand different points of view.

Reading stories with your children can also be a great way to promote family communication and show your children that you care. This article provides ideas on how to inspire a love of reading in youth. Read this creative article to discover new ideas such as having your child read to a pet or stuffed animal. The article also mentions ways to “bring stories to life” by acting out scenes from a child’s favorite book together. Instilling a love for reading in your child will not only help them to live a more compassionate life but will also become an activity that the two of you can pursue together.

In the News, New Content, Things to Do, Uncategorized

Building Stronger Family Communication

The Community Call to Action meetings sparked discussions about ways to promote positive family communication. Youth revealed statistics on youth behaviors and attitudes, including that 84% of youth in the region feel that their families provide high levels of love and support. Meanwhile, only 41% of youth feel that they communicate well with their parents. In this question, students were asked if they feel as though they could talk to their parents about tough topics or reach out to parents for advice on relationships, drinking, etc. The resulting conversation led to defining what positive family communication looks like and the difference between feeling loved and establishing positive communication channels between parents and children.

In our busy, 21st century culture of over packed schedules and constant technology, it can be difficult to find time to communicate with children in healthy ways. Positive family communication can lead to stronger relationships where children feel comfortable sharing their feelings and seeking guidance from parents. This TIME article provides suggestions on how to establishment positive communication rituals.

Here’s some information about the asset, Positive Family Communication and some ideas on how to build it in your home:

Here are the facts

Research shows that young people who experience positive communication with their parents are more likely to grow up healthy and are more willing to seek their parents’ advice and counsel. About 28 percent of young people, ages 11–18, enjoy positive communication with their parents and are willing to seek their parents’ counsel and advice, according to Search Institute surveys. Practice consistently communicating—talking and listening to young people—with an open mind and heart.

Tips for building this asset

Positive communication also means listening to understand a young person’s perspective, not to advocate your position. Be available when young people need you—and even when they think they don’t. Take good care of yourself so when your children want to talk, you can give them your full attention.

Also try this

In your home and family: Make it easy for your child to spend time talking with you: Keep an extra stool or chair in the kitchen, den, home office, or workshop area. When you’re in the car together is a great time to chat, too.

In your neighborhood and community: Ask young people you know caring questions, such as: What was the best thing about school today? What was the best act in the talent show? Why? Listen to their answers and respond accordingly.

In your school or youth program: During parent meetings, discuss the importance of positive communication between parents and children.