Dear Editor,

What is the first thing the doctor’s office does when you come in? They have you fill out a bunch of questions, and then get your weight, height and take your temperature. This is how they begin to access your health.

How can they help unless they first identify your needs, right?

Well, for those of us working in community-based youth services, our assessment is called the SHARP Survey (Student Health and Risk Prevention Survey). This survey is vital for us to identify the community risk factors and protective factors that are of the highest propriety for Grand County. And just like your doctor can not get paid without a diagnosis, our agencies will lose the necessary resources required to support youth in our area without completing this assessment.

The survey is given every other year for students in sixth through 12th grades. At the moment we have not received enough returned parent forms to complete the survey with sophomores and seniors. These parent forms are required for the survey to be given, regardless of whether the parent has given permission to take the survey or not.

Just as your doctor’s goal is to promote your personal health and wellness, if our community goals are to promote student success and achievement, it is essential to begin with an assessment to identify the areas of need. Please talk to someone you know who has a sophomore or senior and ask them to please sign and return the form to the school. The survey is scheduled to be given March 23. If a student has lost the form, another one can be requested from the school or picked up at the Grand County Public Library.

Education is a community endeavor which involves parents, teachers, administrators and the community. We are all involved in helpings students academically, socially and mentally. The SHARP survey is extremely important in helping us serve the children of Grand County. If you are a parent of a high school sophomore or senior, please visit with them about this survey and return the form to the high school.

Thank you for your help.