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credit – Randy Morter

Welcome to December and here’s hoping that you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday.  Of course, these next few weeks will be fun, fast and furious for the Prescott Unified School District (PUSD.)  This is such a great time of year for many of us being surrounded by family and friends. The holidays are a time where there are great stories of hope.  It is a time when those of us who are fortunate, often reach out to those who may not have family and friends… or hope.


In an organization where our motto is “Every Child, Every Day,”  one of the most important things that we have to remember is that not all of our kids are at the same level in terms of hope and happiness in their lives.  Our job is dynamic and comprehensive as we prepare our students with academic skills to be productive citizens in the future. I have, over and again, realized that the most important thing that we have to do for our children is to make sure that they have HOPE for their future.  Certainly, this can apply to adults around us as well. One thing is sure: every single one of us has the capability of helping the people around us to have a hopeful future.


PUSD joins many of our Prescott community organizations as a “Kids at Hope” school district.  You may have seen or read about the recent Kids at Hope presentation at Embry Riddle. Kids at Hope is a term used to replace “Kids at Risk,” or the more modern term: “Adverse Childhood Experiences” (ACEs.)   While these concepts give us definitions for what types of trauma students are coming to us with (a diagnosis, so to speak,) Kids at Hope is a cure. We train our teachers and staff to be “Treasure Hunters” who work with kids to find their strengths and their stories for their future.


There are many facets to the Kids at Hope concept.  One way to help children to find their treasures is to help them “time travel,” or to envision what a hopeful future will look like for them.  Within this structure, we work to help students to develop future visions in four areas: home and family, hobbies and recreation, community, and service.  It sure does not hurt for us adults to do some work in these areas by reflecting what we ultimately want our lives to look like. Do you have a child or two in your life that you can time travel with?


The primary motto of Kids at Hope is that, “All students are capable of success, no exceptions.” While we do lots of training in the modern trauma that students come to school with, we have to focus on both the problem and the cure.  The cure is hope: a confident and positive vision for the future. We are surrounded by kids and adults who could use some help with their hope. During this holiday season, where can you step in to help with HOPE in your community?

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