leaf blog

LEAF Schools & Streets empowers youth in our local community by building up their Developmental Assets!!

LSSBillyJonasCuteGirlSmilesJNwebThe IMPACT |The Developmental Assets:

  • LEAF Schools & Streets’ program goals, curriculum, teacher & student evaluations are aligned with the  Developmental Assets Profile, developed by the Search Institute.
  • The Search Institute has identified 40 assets which comprise a set of skills, experiences, relationships, and behaviors that enable young people to develop into successful and contributing adults. Building these assets prepare youth for success in some type of college or education, a career, and citizenship.
  • LEAF Schools & Streets has identified 6 assets that exemplify the types of skills our programs help to develop in our students. These are: Community Values Youth, Adult Role Models, Creative Activities, Cultural Competence, Personal Power, & Self-Esteem.

Community Values Youth: Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
The IMPACT |Community Building:
LEAF Schools & Streets is creating a healthy, positive larger community by increasing the feeling of importance and responsibility in youth. Youth are more committed to monitoring their own behavior and are less likely to engage in risky actions.

Adult Role Models: Parent(s) and other adults model responsible behavior.
The IMPACT |Creating Safe Comm
unities: At the core of LEAF Schools & Streets classes is an intentional practice of developing a safe space that supports learning and encourages healthy relationships to develop. Studies find that cultivating a safe space with supportive adults encourages students to try new things, make mistakes, express individuality, and care for others in a positive way.

LSSAMSCelloswithBenCreative Activities: Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater or other arts.
The IMPACT | Academic Achievement:
Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, creative thinking and verbal skills. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. Studies show that students with a high engagement in the arts are less likely to drop out of school.

Cultural Competence: Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of all different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
The IMPACT |Cross Cultural Understanding: The arts provide a way for kids to connect with cultures in a hands-on way. Music has the power to transcend geographical, cultural, and linguistic boundaries and bring people together.

Personal Power (the asset that most closely relates to Empowerment): Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me.”
The IMPACT | Self-Confidence:
Students who participate in community-based arts programs like LEAF Schools & Streets have a stronger confidence in their ability to do things well, and greater sense LSSCasaSambaBoyDrummingSmileMMof self-worth and self-esteem (Heath & Roach, 1999).

Self-Esteem: Young person reports having a high self-esteem.
The IMPACT | Self-Awareness and Self-Expression: Research connects arts learning with increased self-understanding and confidence, and finds that both the visual and performing arts provide a way for students to explore, create, and express their identity.

++Equality and Social Justice: Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
The IMPACT | Social Justice:
LEAF Schools & Streets is dedicated to creating positive social change through arts education. We believe that the arts are a tool for community building and bringing equality to the world. LEAF believes that the arts are for all, and is committed to connecting people across communities through cultures and arts to create a stronger whole.


The IMPACT |Aligned with Common Core and NC Essential Standards:


Links to Arts Education IMPACT & Youth Development Research 

Amazing LEAF Schools & Streets Successes!






99% of students reported feeling “valued or more valued by their community” after performing on stage at LEAF Festival.

96% of students reported learning about another culture in their LEAF Schools & Streets program.

90% of students reported that participating in LEAF Schools & Streets allowed them to express their creativity!

Brenna is Stepping Closer to Her Dreams




Brenna dreams of becoming a singer one day. Participating in a LEAF Schools & Streets residency gave her the chance to learn from and perform with world-renowned musician, Samite. “It was very inspirational because when I grow up, I want to be a singer- so this gave me the chance to actually get out there for a little bit and have fun with it.”

Brenna is an 8th grade student in the AVID Program at Asheville Middle School. AVID is an essential program for closing the achievement gap and making the college dream accessible to all students. Learning that she can follow her passion singing shows Brenna that she can work hard and achieve in other areas of life. Music and arts education also helps students learn to value diversity and other cultures. Learning from Ugandan musician, Samite, Brenna the chance to experience Ugandan culture. Born and raised in Uganda, Samite travels the world bringing the message of peace and hope through the healing power of music – a message that all youth need to hear. “Samite taught us a couple Ugandan words, and he taught us what it was like in the music business for a refugee.”

Brenna enjoyed performing at the LEAF Festival, “Performing with Samite was a great experience for me. This was my first LEAF Festival, so this really made my day. I look forward to all the other kids who get this experience because you get to learn different cultures while learning how to dance and sing in that culture.” Samite added about the true impact of cultural arts education; "In performing at the LEAF Festival, kids benefit by feeling important and part of something meaningful. I could see it in their faces.”


sponsor button-harmony