Northeast Community Challenge Coalition


Coalition Grant
March 19, 2008, 1:45 pm
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Coalition Grant

NECC Uses an Asset Approach to Give Kids What They Need to Succeed

The Northeast Community Challenge Coalition (NECC) was awarded a $100,000 Drug-Free Communities Program Grant by the Office of the National Drug Control Policy and the Office of Juvenile Justice. The NECC began in 1983 in response to the “Chemical People” television documentary. Located in the northeast corner of Hamilton County, the coalition has strong community support. The target area encompasses Symmes and Sycamore townships and the cities of Blue Ash and Montgomery.

The primary method that will be used to reduce alcohol and drug use among children and youth is the establishment of a cadre of trained change agents (asset builders ) to work within their respective sectors in order to weave a web of protection around children and youth in the places where they live, learn, and play. The project will 1) establish an administrative infrastructure to support each community sector’s asset-building initiative singularly and the community asset-building initiative collectively, 2) decrease the availability of alcohol and other drugs to youth, and 3) increase the average number of protective factors experienced by youth.

Planned activities include providing information, training, technical assistance, communication between law enforcement and the schools, and consistently enforcing policies on access to alcohol and other drugs. The project plans to provide life skills and resiliency curricula to the schools and provide training to teachers and other school staff.

Research by the Search Institute in Minneapolis has identified 40 developmental assets that have a tremendous influence on young people’s lives. Research shows that the 40 developmental assets help young people make wise decisions, choose positive paths, and grow up competent, caring and responsible. Developmental assets help to inoculate children and youth from engaging in risk taking behavior. The more assets a young person possesses, the stronger his or her health outcomes.

Developmental assets are known to promote three types of healthy outcomes:

1. The prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, violence and school dropout
2. The enhancement of outcomes such as school success and the affirmation of diversity
3. Resiliency, or the capacity to rebound in the face of adversity

NECC Community Wide Asset InitiativeBuilding Developmental Assets for Children and Youth throughout all Sectors of the Community Support:

Adults need to provide an ongoing, caring relationship with children and youth. When children and youth feel cared for and connected to an adult, expectations for appropriate behavior and commitment to learning are more effectively accepted and enforced.

Constructive use of time:
Children and youth need safe places and structured activities, which promote healthy positive youth development.

Positive Values:
Adults who set ethical standards will help children and youth develop an internal compass, which will navigate them through childhood and adolescence to develop a strong inner core of positive values, beliefs, and convictions to guide their decisions and choices.

Boundaries and Expectations:
Adults need to establish clear boundaries and high expectations for healthy behaviors with opportunities for children and youth to learn skills to develop appropriate behaviors. Keep boundaries for inappropriate behaviors clear and consistent and developmentally appropriate. Enforce rules consistently.

Social Competencies:
Adults need to teach children and adolescents the skills that will help them develop the competencies to express their feelings in appropriate ways and learn to respect the feelings of others. They need to accept responsibility for their actions and words. Adults need to encourage acceptance of diversity, skills to resist risky behaviors, and peaceful conflict resolution.