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Kids at Hope Comes up Aces for PUSD

by | Jan 7, 2019

As our Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) students head back to school today after their hard earned winter break, I am excited to share with you about a community program that is a part of our quest to serve Every Child, Every Day.

I will share some tips that adults in our Prescott Community can use to help a child to believe in him or herself. It is important that children have a “future story” where they envision success for themselves and we can all play an important part!

Kids at Hope is a program that is used in several areas of our community. It was brought directly to our attention by our partners at the County Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Justice System, and Prescott Police Department and our own PUSD Education Foundation helped fund the program for our schools. The City of Prescott approved a proclamation last year with literally dozens of community partners standing behind the notion that it is our job to believe that, “Every child is capable of success, no exceptions!”

Kids at Hope logo

In PUSD, Kids at Hope is one of several tools to ensure a culture and atmosphere where our students know that they are cared for, clearing the way for learning. We also use “Capturing Kids Hearts” and “Character Counts” to model these lessons and provide a positive caring atmosphere. These programs give adults tools to support our children through action, consistency and inclusiveness.

Kids at Hope uses the metaphor of the aces found in a deck of cards. The notion is that every adult holds these four aces and can use different aces with different children, based on the level of their relationship with the student. These are given to the children so that we can share our love and belief in them for their future success.

Kids at Hope "Aces"

Ace of Hearts- “Anchor/Parent.” This is the ace that can be given by a true caretaker, a parent or guardian, that is literally spending the most time in the child’s life. It shows them that we believe in them enough to dedicate a large portion of our life to them while believing that they will be successful in their lives.

Ace of Clubs- “Other Caring Adult.” This one can be given to a child that the adult has known for at least two months. The adult should be able to describe at least three positive things that they have observed in the child, and the child should be comfortable asking the adult for assistance. We can give this to children by pointing out positives to build their confidence and help them to see their worth in our community and in their future.

Ace of Spades- “High Expectations.” The Ace of Spades is given to a child from an adult that has known them for at least two months. The adult should see some great things in the child that the child may not see in him or herself. The adult should sense that they are one of the “go to “ adults for this child to discuss a problem or issue beyond an academic subject, and should also have a sense of the student’s home/community life beyond school. We can use this ace to create and point out high expectations to help move the child into a new and higher sense of self.

Ace of Diamonds- “Opportunities to Succeed.” This works for adults who have been able to work with, and give the child opportunities to succeed, find achievement, feel valued and appreciated. This ace is for adults such as coaches, Sunday school teachers, or musical mentors that are able to create ways for children to find success in a challenge.

As an adult community member, even if you do not yet have the relationship with a child to give one of these aces, there are always opportunities to interact with our youth. As adults, we have the power to make youth feel invisible, ignored, and intimidated, or inspired. We have to be intentional about making sure we focus on inspiring our children. We call these opportunities “Moments of Truth.” They do not replace aces, but they are an additional support for kids.

Kids at Hope is a national organization committed to the success of all children and youth, No Exceptions! You can visit their website at:

We welcome volunteers to be involved in our schools and help us continue to inspire Every Child, Every Day in our community.

Contact us at


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