Research has shown that too many children are experiencing significant social, emotional and mental health challenges that create barriers to their success in school and life. In addition, many children engage in challenging behaviors that interfere with the teacher’s ability to provide high quality instruction in a caring and well-managed learning environment.4
In recognition of these issues, in 2013 a group of Northern Kentucky professionals, led by content expert Bonnie Hedrick, Ph.D., envisioned a conceptual framework that would improve the school climate by introducing and reinforcing positive character traits in students as instructed and reinforced by the teacher/counselor, the parent at home, and the community at large. This framework was titled, Core Life.5 Core Life is modeled on the Search Institute’s Developmental Assets® framework which is based in youth development, resilience and prevention research. The Developmental Assets® are 40 research-based, positive experiences and qualities that influence young’s people’s development, helping them become caring, responsible, and productive adults. The framework has been adapted to be developmentally relevant from early childhood through adolescence. According to the Search Institute, studies of more than four million young people have consistently shown that the more assets that young people have, the less likely they are to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviors and the more likely they are to thrive. 6
Core Life is focused on the elementary grades and has as its primary goals:
1) to better academic performance;
2) to improve student attitudes and behaviors in the classroom setting; and,
3) to reduce maladaptive student behavior.