Friday, January 6, 2012

We've Moved!

We are still blogging - actually more than ever!  But we've moved to a new address.  Visit us at 

You can also see our workshops, resources and educational articles at

And twitter with us @TheAssetEdge  

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fusion Arts & Service Camp - Journals for Girls in the Hospital

On day three of the Fusion Arts & Service Camp we visited the Ronald McDonald House, where we learned about this wonderful home-away-from-home for families with critically ill children in the hospital. After touring the facility, we started decorating our handmade journals for teen girls in the hospital. We used spray glue and glue sticks to cover a composition book with decorative scrapbook paper. Then the girls wrote encouraging quotes on random pages throughout the journal. Some girls added embellishments – a butterfly, a pinwheel, or a heart on the cover or throughout the book. The final step was modge-podging the covers, then we presented our gifts to the volunteer coordinator. We loved this project!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fusion Arts & Service Camp - Recycled Paper Bracelets

After touring Ten Thousand Villages, and hearing stories about the wonderful recycled products made by women & children around the world, the Fusion Camp Volunteers set off to make our own recycled jewelry.  These are recycled paper bracelets.  You cut strips from old magazines, cover one side with modge podge, and roll them up around a coffee stirring stick.  The girls were proud of their creations, and each left with plans to give their bracelet to someone as a gesture of encouragement.

We used these activities to talk about cultural competence, as well as equality and social justice - 2 of the 40 Developmental Assets.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Letter to Nashville Youth Workers - Mayor Dean's Quest to help Nashville be a Great City for Young People

Dear Colleagues,

As you likely know by now, Mayor Dean appointed a Task Force five months ago to study, to strategize, and to develop a visionary and guiding document to help Nashville be a great city for young people; a safe, supportive, inclusive, engaging, and healthy city for young people.

On July 28 at 10am at the Youth Opportunity Center, MayTask Force will formally present this plan to the Mayor.

I am asking if you will join in supporting these efforts, but more importantly, if you can help us rally some young people to demonstrate their support for this work. While the specifics of the plan will not be launched until that day, I have put a brief description below if you would like to share it with your youth to explain the nature of the process and the event. Young people have been involved in every phase of this work, from the Mayor's Youth Council and the youth summit, to youth-led focus groups, to a youth-led survey of over 1200 students, to youth members of the task force and even a youth chair of the task force. Youth also submitted artwork, poetry, and even an original song! The commitment to youth has been practiced in the process.

This is not "just another task force." This is a huge step forward for our city in our coordination, commitment to and investment in youth, and it is a step that is already drawing national attention for both its scope and specificity. Please help us support these effort and celebrate on July 28.

I would appreciate it if you could let me know if you will be attending and if you will be bringing young people.

Thanks so much!


About 5 months ago, Mayor Karl Dean organized a Task Force of more than 50 Nashville leaders from all sectors of the community to come together and help develop a Child and Youth Master Plan. The purpose of such a plan is to set a vision and organize and prioritize strategies for the city to ensure that its young people grow up healthy, safe, educated and prepared for life.

The Task Force is divided into four committees whose focus is described briefly below and spans a variety of ages: 0-5, 6-10, 11-13, 14-18, and 19-21 years old.
  • Education Lifecycle: What supports and opportunities do we need to focus on in terms of education in the life of a child/young person from 0 to 21 years of age? What is in place and working? What do we need to improve? What does success look like for a young person in regard to education?
  • Health and Safety: What does it mean for our young people to be healthy? What does safety mean in regard to our young people? What are we doing that is working? What are the biggest health and safety concerns for children/youth? What do we need to improve on? What does success look like?
  • Out of School Time: What opportunities do our young people have for out of school time activities? What does this look like across different ages? What opportunities do we want for our young people? What are we already doing well? What do we need to improve on?
  • Youth Mobility and Stability: What are the key issues in regard to child/youth and family mobility and stability? What sorts of things cause instability (housing, jobs, etc.)? What can we improve to create more stability? How can we ensure access to positive mobility (like transportation)?

Anderson Williams
Director of Consulting
Oasis Center

Fusion Arts & Service Camp - Murals

We led an awesome camp for middle school girls last week as part of the Harpeth Hall School Summer Program.  Each day we went to a different place to volunteer utilizing the girl's passion for arts & crafts.

Here's a picture of some of the murals we painted for the YMCA's preschool camp.  100+ children speaking 8+ languages will be coming to the YMCA to learn reading skills and get ready for school.

Corey Burton, a very artistic Y staff person, drew the images, and the girls painted the silhouette posters.  We were thrilled with the way the 11 posters turned out!
The activity led to conversations about the assets of creative activities and support.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Youth as Leaders

There is virtually no limit to what young people can do, no social need they cannot at least do something about. With a broad enough perspective, it’s hard to think of a positive social role teenagers have not at some time filled: from leading crusades, commanding armies, advising kings – being kings – to making scientific discoveries, composing symphonies, and exposing injustices. What youth can do is limited more by social and political convention than by capacity, energy or willingness.

– Dan Conrad and Diane Hedlin

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Rebelution Do Hard Things Tour

This powerful conference is coming to major cities across the USA over the next few months. Each conference is a challenging one-day event for teens by teens who believe that our generation is ready for a change.  I hope you'll consider sending your teens to this event - I believe it will be a life-changing experience.  I think it's $30 to attend the full day event.  Click here to find out more.