A fourth “R” has been added to the Lutheran High School curriculum – call it “living right.” The school will highlight three building blocks – positive family communication, planning and decision-making, and positive adult role models – out of 40 such assets identified as crucial to adolescent development by a nonprofit group.

Sandra Boston, school admissions director, says staff members learned about this program during an education conference and found it a “wonderful” opportunity for students.

“We help prepare them for college; we give them religion,” Boston says. “This is just another way to help them grow.”

The school will focus on its chosen assets in ways both ambitious and simple.

One of the larger undertakings is a four-week class for parents meant to bolster family communication and positive values in everyday living.

Also for parents is a newsletter distributed with grade reports that has tips about family life.

“It doesn’t take five minutes to read,” Boston says. “This is not heavy stuff. It’s excellent, practical stuff that any family can do.”

“If you pick up even one tip for your child, that’s terrific.”

The school also will invite community members into the classroom to lead discussions dealing with questions such as “What are boundaries?” and “What makes someone a good role model?”

Finally, these assets will be incorporated into several classes, from assignments of positive biography and non-fiction material for book reports to a leadership section in religion class.

This wide-ranging approach should get some valuable messages across to students, Boston says. “The more they hear it, the more it will sink in,” she says. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Based on how well this initial program works, the school may continue it by adopting a different set of assets each year.

For more information about the asset-building program, call the school at 214-349-8912 or the Search Institute of Developmental Assets at 800-888-7828.