Back to Home Page

Local Links
Sun Valley Guide
Hemingway in Sun Valley
Real Estate

For the week of August 30 through September 5, 2000

Romancing the Bean

Express Staff Writer

No, Romancing the Bean is not a hybrid movie of "Romancing the Stone" and "Jack and the Beanstalk," but a coffeehouse promoting something called "asset building."

According to Erin Hart of the Blaine County Youth Project, assets are those things needed by youth to become responsible, caring and healthy adults.

Romancing the Bean is a way the Youth Project has found to give young people a safe place to go on Friday nights during the school year. The coffeehouse meets at the Silver Creek Alternative School in Hailey.

In such a setting a young person can learn the assets of interpersonal and cultural competence.

These are just two of the 40 assets or "building blocks of healthy development" that were produced in a survey by the Search Institute in Minneapolis, Minn.

According to Hart, the same survey was administered to 96 percent of the pupils in Blaine County in grades 6 through 12 in 1998. And from this study, the Youth Project has been able to learn which assets the young of Blaine County are lacking.

For example, from the survey, the Youth Project learned that only 21 percent of Blaine County’s youth perceive that "adults in the community value youth."

In order to create an "asset" of young people’s feeling more valued, and to build support for the Youth Project, youngsters like Marissa Evans, 13, have become public speakers.

In the last couple of weeks, Evans has stood before the Ketchum City Council and the Bellevue City Council to present the different assets and how they are used as building blocks.

In the upcoming weeks, she plans to speak to the Hailey City Council, the Sun Valley City Council, the Carey City Council and the Blaine County Commissioners.

In a telephone interview, Evans, who is this year’s vice president of the student body at the Hailey Middle School, said she got involved in the Youth Project after hearing a presentation by Hart.

She said that what she and others are trying to do is "get more youth and teens to feel more self-confidence."

According to Hart, a lot of asset building has to do with young people and adults working together, where "adults create opportunities for youth and adults to work together."

This, she said, could be as easy as saying "hello" to a young person or creating jobs or internships for young people.


Back to Front Page
Copyright 2000 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.