Positive Youth Development

STEPS was founded with the mission of helping our youth grow up to be caring, competent and successful individuals. STEPS follows the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets Model of encouraging the growth of 40 building blocks needed for healthy youth development. External building blocks are the environmental factors provided by families, peers, teachers, and other adults. Internal building blocks are the attributes that young people develop within themselves as a result of interacting with people. The Social Development Model proposes that we can intentionally promote positive youth development by helping young people bond or develop a sense of connection with families, peers, schools and their community.

The surveys Southington youth take show areas of improvement. Since the original administration of the student survey, the percentage of Southington youth reporting:

  • Family support has grown from 72% to 80%.
  • Positive peer influence has increased from 66% to 79%.
  • My teachers care about me has increased from 45% to 60%.
  • Participation in youth programs has grown from 67% to 72%.
  • Achievement motivation has increased from 73% to 82%.
  • Caring for others has grown from 49% to 63%.
  • Honesty and responsibility have both increased 65% to 72%.
  • Integrity has grown from 69% to 75%.
  • Positive view of their personal future is 79%.

As a community, we still have work to do as our young people report the following statements:

  • 37% of students believed that young people are given useful roles in the community.
  • 29% of students surveyed perceive that adults in the community value youth.
  • 37% of students perceive youth as resources (though that increased from 28%).
  • 48% of students report that they strongly agreed with the statement 窶廣ll in all, I am glad I am me.窶
  • 50% of 7th grade students, 33% of 9th grade students and 28% of 11th grade students report 窶廾n the whole, I like myself.窶

STEPS and Southington have implemented the following initiatives to promote positive youth development:

  • Asset Building Classrooms throughout the Southington school system.
  • STEPS Youth Council and Youth Committee opportunities for youth leadership and service.
  • Southington Serves, a youth community service initiative.

A New Partnership with Lisa, Inc.!

STEPS & Southington Youth Services are proud to partner with Lisa, Inc. to expand ways to make substance abuse prevention a priority here in Southington!   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:ツツ NOVEMBER 1, 2017 CONTACT:ツ Elizabeth Hyattツ 860.426.0946ツ ehyatt@lisainc.org ツ       LOCAL AGENCIES TEAMツUP TO TACKLE SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN SOUTHINGTON   1-2-3 Prevention, Intervention and … Read More

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The 2017-2018 STEPS Youth Council

The STEPS Youth Council is excited to start the year off with our 33 members – our biggest Youth Council yet! The STEPS Youth Council is led by Co-Chairs Ev Ciaburri, A.J. Garstang and SHS Senior, Julia Brilla. Please join us in welcoming the following 2017-2018 Youth Council: Kelly Bergland Christopher Bray Julia Brilla Aniela … Read More

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STEPS Celebrates Youth Council Seniors

As the 2016-2017 has come to an end, we wish our seniors on the STEPS Youth Council the best of luck on their next adventures! ツClick here to see a short video they made with advice for future Southington students! STEPS Youth Council graduating seniors: Laura Calandra,ツMorgan Maccione,ツSam Martins,ツMarissaツMattarazzo,ツMark Meade,ツCatherine Myers,ツKristen Shubert,ツCarson Stifel  

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STEPS Shining Stars Retire from Advisory Board

STEPS was honored to show Officer Tom Gallo, Carson Stifel and Morgan Maccione just how special they are with a little star to remember they will always be a part of STEPS. Officer Tom Gallo has been on the STEPS Advisory Board representing the Southington Police Department for the past 7 years! ツTom has been … Read More

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Making a Smooth Transition to High School

On Thursday, May 25th and Friday, May 26th, staff members from Southington Public Schools and the Southington STEPS Coalition hosted the eighth-grade classes from both DePaolo and Kennedy for the Middle School Transition Days.ツ This year these important days were held at Southington High School so that the eighth-grade students can get a feel for … Read More

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40 Ways Prevention Can Start Before the Age of 5

Building blocks of healthy development (also known as Developmental Assets) help young children grow up to be healthy, caring and responsible. ツThe Southington Community YMCA knows just how important these assets are and the Nursery School team worked hard to successfully implement the Developmental Assets this year! Developing assets at an early age can help … Read More

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Southington Youth Services Does Good Deeds!

Southington Youth Services Director, Christina Simms and Counselor, John Sperduti, thank the Southington Community YMCA for always promoting positive youth development!  Thanks for 'Doing Good'!  

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Spotlight on Ev Ciaburri and AJ Garstang

(Pictured from left to right: Ev, Gabe, Morgan and AJ) Youth Council Spotlight by Morgan Maccione and Gabriel LeBlanc. Evelyn Ciaburri and AJ Garstang have led the STEPS Youth Council for the past four years, which is group comprised of middle and high school students from Southington. STEPS stands for Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success. … Read More

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Good Deeds Week is Almost Here!

Good Deeds Week is just around the corner!  During the week of April 3-9, 2017, the Southington community will come together in an effort to promote the asset of positive peer influence and make Southington an even better place to live!   Take a look at our community partners that have already pledged to Do Good! … Read More

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STEPS Youth Committee Meets with Bread for Life

Members from the STEPS Youth Committee met with Donna Ayer, the Director of Southington’s Bread for Life, to learn about what Bread for Life does for residents here in our community. ツThe students are excited about their new partnership and the upcoming opportunities to volunteer in the Southington community! If you would like to start … Read More

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Morgan Maccione Receives Youth Leadership Award

Morgan Maccine is a senior at Southington High School and just received one of the Youth Leadership Awards from the Southington Community YMCA at their Annual Meeting.  Morgan has been part of STEPS for the past 7 years as a Youth Council and Student Advisory Board Member. Morgan lights up any room she walks into … Read More

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Winter Wonderland at Southington High School!

The STEPS Student Council Think Tank is promoting aツWinter Wonderland Weekツ(Dec 12-16)ツto promote December’s Asset of the Month, Caring School Climate. Listen for holiday music duringツMusicツMonday.ツ Dress like a buddy forツTwinツTuesday.ツツ Wear your favorite holiday sweater forツWackyツSweaterツWednesday.ツ Dress as your favorite holiday character forツHoliday ThemeツThursday.ツ Wear your fuzziest pajamas and coziest slippers forツFuzzy SlipperツFriday. ツ … Read More

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Southington Serves!

Southington Serves is a volunteer website for Southington students and their families to get involved in the community, give back or complete community service hours. Southington Serves is located on the Town of Southington’s website and to view the current volunteer options, please clickツHERE. All youth who use this site must contact the organization directly … Read More

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STEPS Hosts Interactive Forums to Discuss Recent Survey Results

On October 18th and November 9th, interactive community forums were held with various sectors throughout the community. ツThe purpose was to review and share data from our recent student survey and work with community members to create an action plan for change. ツThank you to all the participants for your time and commitment to our … Read More

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Youth Council Posts ‘Please No Smoking or Vaping’ Signs at Apple Harvest

For their fourth year, the STEPS Youth Council went out to the Apple Harvest Festival prior to the start and hung signs around the common areas asking people to keep the festival smoke and vape free. The STEPS Youth Council are asking our community to set the example for our youth by being a safe … Read More

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The 2016-2017 STEPS Youth Council

The STEPS Youth Council held their first meeting for the 2016 – 2017 school year and they are off to a great start! ツThe Youth Council is an elite group of 30 students, rangingツ6-12thツgrade. The council works together on large community projects and campaigns to make Southington a better, and safer place for youth to … Read More

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An Asset a Day at YMCA Camp Sloper

Asset Building at YMCA窶冱 Camp Sloper By: Morgan Maccione, 12th grade student at Southington High School and STEPS Advisory Board Member In a partnership with STEPS, YMCA Camp Sloper recently adopted the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Asset Model into both the East and West Coasts of camp. ツAn 窶廣sset of the Day窶 is announced every … Read More

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8th Grade Transition Day at Camp Sloper

We’re excited that for the second year in a row, we were able to do an 8th grade transitions day just like we do for the 5th grade. ツMonday, May 23rd and Wednesday, May 25th, the 8th grade students in the Southington Public School System spent the days at YMCA Camp Sloper with their new … Read More

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Youth Committee Festive Fun

This December, our Youth Committee has been busy spreading holiday cheer throughout our town. ツThey started the month by voluteering to help out at the Armory Christmas Party for the guardsmen and their families. ツThey spent a Friday afternoon wrapping presents and candy donated by businesses and citizens in town through Southington Community Services. Then … Read More

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Teen View: Reading for Pleasure

by Sarah Lamb, STEPS Advisory Board Member

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5th Graders Build Assets at YMCA Camp Sloper

5th graders from Southington attended a training day at YMCA Camp Sloper on May 13th and 14th (Students that will be attending DePaolo went the first day and students that will be attending Kennedy went the next day). The Asset Development and Transition Day is filled with workshops for these 5th graders to help them … Read More

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STEPS Support Card

The STEPS Support Card is now available on ourツresource page.ツ The Support Card is a summary of our findings fromツthe Search Institute’s Attitudes and Behaviors Survey that was administered in November toツSouthington 7th, 9th, and 11th grade public school students. Click here to view the STEPS Support Card

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Youth Proactive in the Vision of STEPS

by E. Richard Fortunato, STEPS Advisory Board Member   As a member of the STEPS Advisory Board for Media, I've enjoyed an upfront view of the mission, work projects, contributions and stories of virtually all of the sectors making up the coalition called STEPS, Southington's Town-wide Efforts to Promote Success.   

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AUGUST ASSET BUILDING CHALLENGE

The summer is the perfect time for kids to get involved in a sport, start a hobby or participate in anything creative. School is out, homework is no longer their first priority and the weather is flawless. Here are 11 quick ideas or tips that can help build both of these assets during July and … Read More

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July Asset Building Challenge!

Southington's Town-wide Effort to Promote Success is all about helping youth thrive. One major way to do this is to make sure youth feel valued, not just by teachers and parents, but the entire community in which they live. Do your part and try one of these tips on how to help a youth you … Read More

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Youth Council Celebrates Accomplishments!

The STEPS Youth Council celebrated their accomplishments at Hawks Landing Country Club this past Tuesday night.  What a wonderful way to end a great year of hard work! The following is a list of projects the Youth Council worked on this past year: YOUTH COUNCIL ACCOMPLISHMENTS 2012-2013 Tobacco Prevention:

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STEPS Youth Committee Plants Another Tree!

Monday, June 17, 2013 was a very special evening for the STEPS Coalition, especially the STEPS Youth Committee. That evening, the second of hopefully many trees, was planted outside Mary Our Queen Church. The goal of the STEPS Youth Committee is to plant a tree in every sector of the town.  Our first tree was … Read More

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Are you in? Well, if you hold the door for someone, you are!

The following is a story written by Jason Vallee on Southington.Patch.com:

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‘Give A Compliment Today’ – Are You In?

Posted by Jason Vallee (Editor),

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Bringing the Community Together – Are You In?

“Are You In?” It’s a question that over the past two years has developed into a motto for STEPS, the Southington Town-wide Effort to Promote Success, but as members of the organization look to further strengthen support and unity in the community, they are challenging area residents to think critically on how they can become … Read More

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Get your Home Edition Conversation Cards Today!

The Home Edition Conversation Cards have officially arrived! As you may know, these cards were placed in 17 different restaraunts in Southington to help foster the asset: positive family communication. Since the cards created so much buzz around town, the STEPS Youth Council worked together to form a brand new set with 52 new questions … Read More

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Walk Like MADD 2013

Please join us on Saturday April 27th, 2013 at 8:30am for the Annual "Walk like MADD" event! Register online at www.walklikemadd.org/southington The walk is a 5k in distance and begins on the Southington Town Green!     Why Does MADD Do a Walk? Because far too much work needs to be done to eliminate drunk … Read More

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Conversation Cards Are Causing Great Family Communication!

A few short months ago, a student came to a STEPS Youth Council meeting with an idea. She had seen a family at a local restaurant sitting in silence. The kids were texting and a little one was using an iPad to play a game. The kids were quiet and well behaved but there was … Read More

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December Celebrated Role Models at JFK!

Last month, the asset promoted throughout the Southington school system was Positive Adult Role Models. JFK middle school took December's asset and put an interesting twist on how to build it! And what does it mean to be a positive adult role model? Parent(s), guardian(s) and other adults model positive and responsible behavior for others.

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Strict Moms Influence Kids’ Friends: Study

Strict Moms Influence Kids' Friends: Study   Authoritative parenting can help teen friends cut drinking, smoking and drug use, researchers say By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) –

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Help Keep the Apple Harvest Smoke Free!

STEPS needs your help to keep the Southington Apple Harvest 'Smoke Free' this year. STEPS and the Apple Harvest have designated areas surrounding the carnival rides to be 'Smoke Free' for the duration of the festival.  Signs have been posted throughout Riccio Way to remind visitors to please be considerate of others and set a good example … Read More

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STEPS Offers Challenge to New Britain Transportation

On Wednesday, August 22, 2012, STEPS made a presentation to staff and district school bus drivers at New Britain Transportation on how they can help make a difference this upcoming school year. Natalie Nyerick, 11th grade student at Southington High School, and Trever Rogers, 9th grade student at Southington High School were the STEPS representatives and … Read More

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August Asset Building Challenge – Help Build Self-Esteem!

Southington's Town-wide Effort to Promote Success is all about helping youth thrive. One major way to do this is to make sure youth feel valued, not just by teachers and parents, but the entire community in which they live. Do your part and try one of these tips on how to help a youth you … Read More

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If marijuana isn’t the most prevalent “gateway” drug, what is?

The term “gateway drug” is familiar to many. But does familiar mean understood? According to a recent study done by The Journal of School Health, many of us are misinformed of what the main gateway drug actually is. The study finds that the term is accurate but the thoughts behind “gateway drug” automatically assume marijuana … Read More

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Teens More Likely to Try Cigarettes, Marijuana and/or Alcohol in June or July

Teens are more likely to try cigarettes or marijuana in June or July than any other month, says Join Together, a collaboration of the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Summertime is an exciting time for kids, but down-time and less structure and supervision can have dangerous outcomes.  The following is part of an article … Read More

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JULY ASSET BUILDING CHALLENGE

The summer is the perfect time for kids to get involved in a sport, start a hobby or participate in anything creative. School is out, homework is no longer their first priority and the weather is flawless. Here are 10 quick ideas or tips that can help build both of these assets during July and … Read More

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Power of You(th) Video Winners!

MADD sent out a message to all youth asking for a brief Public Service Announcement [PSA] on how youth more than ever, have the power to influence their peers, and in turn, influence them positively by saying no to alcohol.

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Asset Building Classrooms Training

On Tuesday, May 29, 2012, STEPS Asset Building Classrooms [ABC] held their second training on bringing the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Asset Model to the Southington School System. Teachers, parents, and students representing each school participated, half in the morning training session and the other half in the afternoon session.

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5th Grade Asset Building Days!

Think back to when you were in 5th grade. It was such a great year for elementary school because you were finally the “big kids” of the school. The back of the bus was yours. You got to be a book buddy and every other grade looked up to you. However, if you remember the … Read More

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May Asset Building Challenge of the Month!

Southington's Town-wide Effort to Promote Success is all about helping youth thrive. One major way to do this is to make sure youth feel valued, not just by teachers and parents, but the entire community in which they live. Here are a few other great tips for this month’s Asset Building Challenge from the Search … Read More

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STEPS Student Support Card now available online!

If you didn't get a chance to attend the STEPS Community Forum held in March, here is a great opportunity to view what you may have missed. Relseased at the forum was the Student Support Card reveals and compares the data collected from each 7th, 9th, and 11th grader who participated in the Search Institute's … Read More

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Forum Update #3: How Southington plans to build the asset Community Values Youth!

At the STEPS Community Forum on March 7th, 2012, tables were asked to briefly discuss the focus asset that pertained most to their community sector: Positive Family Communication, Caring School Climate or Community Values Youth. These assets were chosen because they encompass the three places children learn most from: Family, School and the Community.

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MADD Walk in Southington

On Saturday, April 21, 2012, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), held their first annual walk right here in Southington!  Over 100 people came out to show their support and participate in a great cause!  For more information about MADD, please visit their website www.madd.org   Why Does MADD Do a Walk?

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Forum Update #2: How Southington plans to build a Caring School Climate!

Feature Photo: Kennedy Middle School teachers sit with two students and Assistant Principal Pamela Aldi while wearing their "Ugly Sweaters" to the STEPS Community Forum as representation of how they are building a Caring School Climate — being authentic and funny to make connections with youth.

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Forum Update: Positive Family Communication – Visions & Strategies from Southington Parents!

At the STEPS Community Forum on March 7th, 2012, tables were asked to briefly discuss the focus asset that pertained most to their community sector: Positive Family Communication, Caring School Climate or Community Values Youth. These assets were chosen because they encompass the three places children learn most from: Family, School and the Community.

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