Free Resources from Search Institute

Since 1958, Search Institute has been doing research on what kids need to succeed. We have several free resources available to help you apply what we’ve learned to the children and youth in your life. We are happy to offer these free resources for you to learn more.

Developmental Assets® Resources

In 1990, Search Institute released a framework of Developmental Assets, which identifies a set of skills, experiences, relationships, and behaviors that enable young people to develop into successful and contributing adults. Over the following decades, the Developmental Assets framework and approach to youth development became the most frequently cited and widely utilized in the world, creating what Stanford University’s William Damon described as a “sea change” in adolescent development. Download the lists for the 40 Developmental Assets, for each age range (from 3-18). Multiple language translations available too.

Developmental Relationships Resources

Developmental Relationship Framework
Everyone seems to agree that “relationships matter.” But what is it about relationships that make some transformative while others seem to have little, if any, impact? Search Institute’s newest research-to-practice initiative focuses on studying and strengthening the developmental relationships that help young people succeed. Download the developmental relationship framework here.

Relationships First
Search Institute is committed to exploring the role of positive, developmental relationships in the lives of young people. Relationships First introduces what we’re learning and provides some starting points for action for organizations and leaders who work with youth.

REACH Student Motivation Resources

The REACH System provides tools to measure and improve academic motivation. It examines social and emotional factors such as Relationships, Effort, Aspirations, Cognition, and Heart along with other key variables that affect students motivation and engagement. Click below to download free information and some Anchor Activities included in the REACH system.

Brain is like a muscle
This activity teaches kids that working harder can make them smarter.

Sparks Activity
Sparks are the deep passions and skills that each and every young person has. When young people realize their life has purpose, they are more likely to do more engaged in school and hopeful about the future. This activity will help identify your students’ Sparks!

REACH Relationships chapter
Relationships are at the core of REACH. Through our research, we have found that building developmental relationships are the single most influential thing that adults can do to help youth succeed in school and life. This chapter summarizes our research and includes two classroom activities.

Struggle Strategies Exercise
Effort by itself is not enough. Good learning strategies are also essential in helping kids succeed. This exercise helps teach kids what to do when they’re struggling.

Keep Connected Family Engagement Resources

Keep Connected is a parent engagement program for schools, youth programs and others that want to help families strengthen relationships with each other. It’s designed for parents and kids as they move into the teen years and helps them stay connected as demands pull them apart.

Table Time Meal planning for families
Family dinners are important. Research shows that kids in families that frequently eat together tend to get better grades and are less likely to use alcohol, drugs and tobacco. This Family Dinner Toolkit can help you make the time parents and kids spend together count!

Mini Parenting Workshop
Relationships that Matter: 5 Keys to Helping Your Child Succeed (in English and Spanish)
With this single session, 80-minute workshop, you can help parents understand and focus on five areas of parent-child relationships that are key to youth’s success in school and other areas of life.

Talk About It
Here are some family conversation starters that help you talk with your children and teens and grow your relationships. Talk About It Cards help you share each person’s experiences, feelings, and beliefs so families can get to know each other better!

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