Santa Clara County Project Cornerstone

Bret Harte Focal Assets 2016

Commitment to Excellence


Overview Results
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Project Cornestone

Project Conerstone

Project Cornerstone is a Santa Clara County-wide movement based on survey research involving over two million children across the United States. This research, conducted by Search Institute, identified 41 developmental assets that help children thrive. The study found a direct correlation between high numbers of perceived assets and less ‘at risk’ behavior among children in grades 6-12. The more assets children perceive within their communities the less likely they are to be truant, do drugs, and attempt suicide. None of these assets cost anything to provide and there are no socio-economic, racial, or geographic groups that are less able to provide these assets to their youth. Keep reading to find out what Bret Harte is doing to create an asset-rich school environment for our students.

Why are the 41 developmental assets so important?
Research shows that the more assets a child has the more likely they are to exhibit positive attitudes and behaviors:
• Succeeding in school
• Helping others
• Valuing diversity
• Maintaining good health
• Exhibiting leadership
• Resisting danger
• Delaying gratification
• Overcoming adversity
• Overcoming adversity
Recent studies in Santa Clara County show that the average youth has only 18.2 assets out of the 41 developmental assets possible. Students at Bret Harte Middle School, average a bit higher at 21.9 assets. Our goal is to help all youth in acquiring an average of 30 or more developmental assets at any given time.

41 Developmental Assets

Developmental assets are the positive values, relationships, skills and experiences that help children and teens thrive. Young people with high asset levels are most likely to make healthy choices, while those with lower asset levels are more likely to get involved with negative or risky behaviors like violence, trouble in school, drug and alcohol use and more. (Search Institute created the developmental assets framework. For more information, visit

  * For printable middle school asset list, click here!
  * Eight Keys to Thriving Youth offers an easy-to-understand explanation of the eight developmental asset categories.
  * To see the results of the Silicon Valley developmental assets survey, click here!

External Assets
• 1. Family support
• 2. Positive family communication
• 3. Other adult relationships
• 4. Caring neighborhood
• 5. Caring school climate
• 6. Parent involvement in schooling
• 7. Community values youth
• 8. Youth as resources
• 9. Service to others
• 10. Safety
Boundaries & Expectations
• 11. Family boundaries
• 12. School boundaries
• 13. Neighborhood boundaries
• 14. Adult role models
• 15. Positive peer influence
• 16. High expectations
Constructive Use of Time
• 17. Creative activities
• 18. Youth programs
• 19. Religious community
• 20. Time at home

Internal Assets
Commitment to Learning
• 21. Achievement motivation
• 22. School engagement
• 23. Homework
• 24. Bonding to school
• 25. Reading for pleasure
Positive Values
• 26. Caring
• 27. Equality and social justice
• 28. Integrity
• 29. Honesty
• 30. Responsibility
• 31. Restraint
Social Competencies
• 32. Planning and decision making
• 33. Interpersonal competence
• 34. Cultural competence
• 35. Resistance skills
• 36. Peaceful conflict resolution
Positive Identity
• 37. Personal power
• 38. Self-esteem
• 39. Sense of purpose
• 40. Positive view of personal future
• 41. Positive Cultural Identity *

* Project Cornerstone established this asset for Silicon Valley as a result of local community input.