AUGUST Asset of the Month: CARING NEIGHBORHOOD Young person experiences caring neighbors. The Importance of a Caring Neighborhood Research shows that youth who reside in caring neighborhoods enjoy higher grades, better self esteem, reduced experience of violence, and less substance abuse. And, caring neighborhoods are safer: a study of 343 Chicago neighborhoods revealed that strong communities where adults are willing to intervene in the lives of youth experience reduced acts of truancy, graffiti, and violence. Other benefits of a strong neighborhood include a greater sense of community, improved mobilization for community action, and easier dispute resolution among neighbors, which create a more desirable environment for everyone regardless of age. In the Developmental Assets Survey administered in the Palo Alto Unified School District in the Fall of 2010, only 57% of 5th graders, 49% of 7th graders and 35% of high schoolers reported that they feel that their neighborhood is caring. To help raise awareness of this important asset, August is Caring Neighborhood month in Silicon Valley, and in Palo Alto we will be celebrating Caring Neighborhoods. Here’s a great example. The Blanchard family is showing the Harry Potter movies in the run up to the last installment. What a great way to get to know the kids in your neighborhood and to show them that you care. “Take advantage of every moment to build assets in every child.”