Mayor Mike Creighton


1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

The levels of support and connection young people have to their community and to the adults in that community has a significant impact on the levels of violence and safety. The Search Instituteís Profiles of Student Life shows that in Bellevue a young person with high levels of this support is 10 times less likely to engage in acts of violence and other risk taking behaviors than is a person with low levels of connection to adults and community.

Itís About Time...for Kids, Bellevue, reflects a new approach to addressing the root causes of violence. Using the Search Instituteís 40 Developmental Assets framework, Itís About Time...for Kids, is showing adults across the community how they can play a positive part in the lives of all young people around them. This approach places a strong emphasis on helping all adults, and older youth, understand the simple ways that their positive interactions with youth help to prevent violence. It is different in its heavy emphasis on broad community education and awareness. It does not simply rely on a select group of counselors, clergy, recreation leaders, police or youth workers to meet the needs of young people. The power of this effort rests in the realization that all adults in a community set a tone of acceptance and belonging for young people.

Itsí About Time...for Kids, Bellevue, activities include

A. Training school staff and volunteers

B. Training church communities

C. Ongoing community awareness and educations

1. Preparation of PSAís

2. Providing educational materials to community members

3. Sponsoring community activities and forums

D. Targeting specific neighborhood groups for training

E. Enlisting support of major youth serving organizations and educating/training youth workers.

2. When was the program created and why?

The program was created in 1997, as a response to results of research that showed Bellevueís young people failing to thrive. This, Developmental Assets Among Bellevue Youth, showed that over half of Bellevue youth possessed fewer than 50% of the Assets necessary for them to thrive and reach their full potential. The report further showed that youth felt very low levels of connection to positive adult role models and to the community at large.

In response, Bellevue created Itís About Time...for Kids. At the same time a similar effort was started in Seattle and several surrounding communities. The synergy created by these multiple efforts has paid off well in terms of access to media and increased levels of awareness.

3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?

Measuring effectiveness is done in three ways.

A. Assessments of trainings and progress are completed by everyone who participates in an Itís About Time...for Kids, activity.

B. Annually we set goals for the number of participants we will have in trainings, presentations, and activities.

C. In two to three years, we will administer the Search Instituteís Profiles of Student Life survey once again.

4. How is the program financed?

The program is financed by the City of Bellevue and the Mid-East King County Public Health and Safety Network. Annual cost for this program is approximately $45k.

5. How is the community involved in the program?

A board of 15 community members, the Core Team, provides guidance, leadership and community credibility to the activities undertaking by Itís About Time...for Kids.

6. What are the major lessons learned from the program?

Though the lessons and actions appear intuitive, people need to be reminded that what they do, or do not do, to interact and support young people sends strong messages to youth. And, making the initial necessary changes is simple.

  • If given time it works.
  • Giving people simple, specific, doable things to do increased their levels of commitment.
  • Support buildings from the excitement of individuals, not systems or organizations. One must work to energize people, not institutions.
  • One needs a constant stream of information, ideas and activities to sustain such an initiative over a multi-year time frame.
  • The presence of a designated staff lead for the effort is critical. Such an effort is not self-sustaining and self-generating.

7. Contact person:

Lee Springgate, Director City of Bellevue Parks & Community Services Programs

P.O. Box 90012, Bellevue, Washington 98009-0012


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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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