In December, The Snoqualmie Valley Community Network kicked off its important It Starts with You: Engage, Listen and Connect social media campaign, with the goal of encouraging Snoqualmie Valley adults to connect with local youth.
Organizers say the campaign will be paired with strategies parents and other caring adults can use to strengthen relationships with young people through Five Key Elements: Express Care, Challenge Growth, Provide Support, Share Power and Expand Possibilities developed by the Keep Connected, a Family Engagement Program from The Search Institute.
It Starts with You: Engage, Listen and Connect campaign was developed in collaboration with Snoqualmie Valley community members at focus groups hosted by the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network. Members from the Riverview and Snoqualmie School Districts reviewed data from the Community Perceptions Survey and then helped develop the campaign. The survey highlighted a gap between what adults in the Valley perceived compared to what Valley youth reported regarding having a caring adult to turn to. According to the Community Perceptions Survey, “85% of Snoqualmie Valley adults report talking to kids about stress, depression and anxiety.” However, according to the 2016 WA State Healthy Youth Survey, only 31% of Snoqualmie Valley School District 10th graders and 25% of Riverview School District 10th graders feel they do NOT have a parent (or other adult) to turn to for help if they feel sad or hopeless.
Both focus groups agreed that closing this gap would be the campaign’s main focus. “We cannot wait for them [youth] to come to us; we have to start by building trust first, so that we can lay the foundation for bigger conversations, such as drug and alcohol use,” said one RVSD participant.
The tagline It Starts with You: Engage, Listen and Connect emerged as the positive message to encourage all adults to connect with Valley youth. Participants suggested the positive messaging be paired with the “how,” indicating that starting conversations with youth is challenging and many adults do not know where to begin.
It Starts with You: Engage, Listen and Connect will run through June 2019. You can Like the on Snoqualmie Valley Community Network’s Facebook page for more information and to stay connected with the campaign.