We know that Sparks are talents, interests, commitments and qualities that give kids—and adults—energy and purpose. We also know that it’s important to talk to kids about their Sparks and support them in their passions.
But why? Why is it so important? Why do Sparks matter?
Because SPARKS lead to some pretty huge benefits.
Research shows that kids and teens who identify their Sparks, and nurture them with help from supportive adults, thrive. In so many ways, across all areas of life.
Kids who nurture their sparks with adult support are more likely to
- Attend school…
- ...and be engaged there
- Get good grades
- 70% get a 3.5 GPA or higher!
Care for the environment
Be less depressed and anxious
Have a positive attitude
Have good social skills
Feel they have a purpose in life
Take fewer risks
- with substance abuse, violence and unsafe sex
Be satisfied with life
Volunteer to serve others
Have more energy and confidence
Have hope for their future
Benson, Peter L., (2008) Sparks: How Parents Can Ignite the Hidden Strengths of Teenagers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Camp Fire. “Our Framework Ensures that Youth Thrive.” Campfire.org. 2017.
Search Institute. “Finding the Student Spark,” Insights & Evidence. November 2010.
Search Institute. “Sparks: A Gateway to Developmental Relationships.” search-institute.org. 2017.
Thanks Kate Sherron for this Sparks infographic!