A love of learning will take them far
Young people need to develop a lifelong commitment to both formal and informal education. When we learn something new, we grow, change and expand our horizons. Adults can have a strong impact on a youth’s desire to learn, and there are practical ways that everyone can encourage learning. Modeling curiosity and discovery, reading with young people, making learning relevant through experiences like volunteering or talking about your job and being an advocate for effective schools are some of these ways. Taking learning outside of the classroom can help young people discover the joy of learning in all that they do by asking questions, helping them dig for information and sharing in their excitement about new information.
HERE ARE THE FACTS
Research shows the more young people are committed to learning; the more likely they are to grow up healthy. Search Institute has identified five assets in the Commitment to Learning category crucial for helping young people: Achievement Motivation, School Engagement, Homework, Bonding to School, and Reading for Pleasure.
TIPS FOR BUILDING THESE ASSETS
By supporting young people and reminding them of the built-in rewards of learning, you can help them deepen their engagement in learning at school, at home, and in the community. Focus on young people individually to help meet distinct needs, styles, and preferences. Schools and youth programs often offer different options. And remember: Learning happens everywhere, not just in school.
Kids need to develop a lifelong commitment to learning. You help young people develop this commitment when you:
- Encourage them in their education;
- Challenge them to explore and learn new things; and
- Read and learn with them
HOW CAN YOU ENCOURAGE LEARNING?
- In your home and family: Encourage reading as a regular part of your child’s day or read aloud together. When young people are read to, have book collections at home and limits on TV watching, they are more likely to read for pleasure and lifelong learning
- In your neighborhood and community: Be a role model. Show young people your enthusiasm for learning new skills and gathering information. Encourage and support young people in finding new things that get them excited about learning.
- In your school or youth program: Bring in guests who have achieved their dreams. Invite the students and participants to interview them and learn firsthand about the commitment needed to succeed.
Want to know more about Search Institute’s other seven asset categories or the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them? Visit www.ecabnetwork.org.
Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. Adapted from Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.