Community groups in Anchorage have an important role to play in reaching our goals to help students and their families succeed.  Faith groups, Rotary clubs, professional associations, moms' clubs, recreation teams and other groups and organizations can bring members together to help children and youth develop the assets that will help them be healthy, confident and resilient and experience academic and personal success.

Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Volunteer (check out opportunities at bethechange907!)
  • Become a School Business Partner.
  • Mentor youth: provide homework help, coach a sports team or lead a club, talk about goal setting and set high standards for attendance and school engagement.
  • Think of ways to turn adult activity programs into ones that youth could participate in, too.  Can you host a junior bowling league? Technology Club? Pool Tournament?
  • Help keep the positive things young people do in the spotlight.  Write letters to the editor of media to balance reporting of "problem behavior".

Visit the Association of Alaska School Boards' Initiative for Community Engagement page for further suggestions of ways to support and encourage children and youth in our community.

Faith Communities

Jeremiah 29:7 “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.” Shalom

Have you heard the Hebrew word “shalom”?  In English, we call it peace, but it means far more than just peace of mind of ceasefire between enemies.  In the bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural seeds are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as the creator opens doors and speaks welcome to the creatures in whom he delights.  It is the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight.  Really, it is the way things are supposed to be; it is the goal toward which God calls his people! (Jeremiah 29:7)

How would youth in a community of shalom be faring?  By any measure, they would flourish, wouldn’t they?  They would fully utilized their God-given gifts and, for example, graduate from school ready to contribute to the community in turn.

 We are grateful for the good work already being done and pray that something you find here may help you find a way to participate in new ways to create a community of shalom for our children, and reach and exceed the goal of a 90% graduation rate by 2020!

Building Assets:

There are a number of ways that congregations build assets. Your policies, practices, procedures, and activities all can work to build assets with and for young people. Use this checklist to see how you're currently building developmental assets and to identify areas you could strengthen.