Every child needs their own personal “spark”. According to Search Institute’s extensive research in youth development, resiliency, and prevention, kids who have a spark, or an interest that inspires them, are more successful in a variety of areas than their peers who do not have a unique passion. For instance, identifying and cultivating a spark can lead to higher grades, better physical health, empathy, social competence, a concern for the environment, among other qualities. So then, how do we help our kids find their sparks?
At Southeast Psych, three clinicians, Kelley Bolton, Psy.D., Sean Knuth, Ph.D., and Heather Wright, M.S., have teamed up to offer Creative Kids Camp, an asset-building initiative. Through art, gardening, and cooking, this camp provides fun and enriching activities designed to introduce your child to new avenues for self-expression, build self-confidence, and promote positive social-emotional development. Creative Kids Camp aims to help children discover a new interest that may lead to a lifelong hobby or even career! We, too, believe that sparks are an important asset in the lives of children. The studies conducted by Search Institute identify several important themes which better explain the significant benefits of sparks:
- In addition to the “academic” steps taken by schools to encourage success, students need the opportunity to establish and develop their sparks. At Creative Kids Camp, children will have the opportunity to participate in art, gardening, and cooking activities and will hopefully find a passion in one of these areas, or get new ideas about other areas they would like to explore!
- Sparks are useful in promoting healthy, positive development and contribute to psychological well-being and resilience. By exploring a range of interests at Creative Kids Camp, children will have the opportunity to build important life skills necessary for maintaining an optimistic outlook on life and making healthy, positive choices.
- When kids have an interest or passion that is supported by the people around them, they tend to have better interpersonal communication and friendship skills. At Creative Kids Camp, kids will have the opportunity to work with others and develop the skills essential for interacting with others throughout their lives.
To learn more about sparks and how to find them, visit www.search-institute.org/sparks. To find out more about Creative Kids Camp, visit www.southeastpsych.com/camps.htm.
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