Free 5 CPDU online workshop through Northeastern Illinois University’s College of Education
Integrate pressing life issues into classes across the curriculum to effectively engage students in learning and support social emotional growth
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Model Programs Incorporating Evidence Based Strategies
Originally designed as a school-based program for substance abuse prevention, the model was expanded to address multiple risk/protective factors and can be utilized as a wide-ranging prevention strategy incorporating life skills training, promoting pro-social norms and connecting to community prevention efforts in a variety of settings. Across Ages is a school and community based drug prevention program that seeks to strengthen the bonds between adults and youth and provide opportunities for positive community involvement. The centerpiece of Across Ages is the involvement of older adults as mentors for youth ages 9 to 15. In addition to spending time with their mentors, children in Across Ages are involved in community service activities that benefit the neighborhoods around their schools, and they receive classroom instruction to cope with stress and promote positive decision-making. To learn more about Across Ages click on http://acrossages.org/.
Life Skills Training
Life skills Training is a highly rated, recommended and researched substance abuse prevention program today. Rather than just teaching information about a drug this program teaches students to develop skills so they are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors. Life Skills is designed for elementary and junior high school students and has been effective with white middle-class and ethnic-minority students in rural, suburban, and inner-city populations. Life Skills Training consists of three major components: Drug Resistance Skills, Personal Self-Management Skills, and General Social Skills. Drug Resistance Skills enable young people to recognize and challenge misconceptions about tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use. By increasing perception of person risk and life skills training students learn alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse information and resistance skills to deal with peer and media pressure through coaching and practice. Personal Self-Management Skills teach students how to examine their self-image and its effects on behavior. Students learn to set goals, make decisions, analyze problems and consider the consequences of each solution before making a decision. They also learn to look at challenges in a positive light. General Social Skills teach students to communicate effectively and avoid misunderstandings. Students also learn to initiate conversations and handle social requests. Life Skills Training teaches students that they have a choice other then being aggressive or passive. To learn more about Life Skills Training click on www.lifeskillstraining.com.
This approach incorporates evidence based strategies such as increasing perception of personal risk, life skills training, promoting pro-social norms and connecting to community prevention efforts. Positive Action is a comprehensive program for students 3-18 years old. It is targeted for all groups of individuals, regardless of age, gender, race, urban, rural, suburban, etc. Its methodology integrates daily classroom curriculum with a school based prevention program. The Positive Action approach teaches physical, intellectual, social, and emotional positive actions. Students focus on the importance of their thoughts, actions, and feelings. Some of the goals of this program are to improve students’ academic performance, instill students motivation to learn, assist the school, improve students’ behavior, develop students character, develop well rounded students, develop thinking skills, and promote good mental health in students. This program has been effective in increasing protective factors such as social skills, positive personal characteristics, knowledge regarding risks associated with substance use, information on positive health behaviors, promoting negative attitude toward drug-related topics, positive relationships with adults, positive bonding to social institutions, and commitment to pro-social values. To learn more about Positive Action click on the link www.positiveaction.net.
This program is designed for sixth through eighth grade students. The goals of Project ALERT are to prevent adolescents from beginning to use drugs, and to prevent those who have already experimented from becoming regular users. Also, to prevent or curb risk factors demonstrated to predict drug use. The curriculum achieves these goals by motivating adolescents not to use drugs and by teaching them skills to translate that motivation into effective resistance. The lessons that focus on correcting misperceptions of norms, beliefs about drugs, and intentions help motivate adolescents not to use. Other evidence based strategies incorporated in Project Alert are life skills training and increasing perception of personal risk. These strategies are used to teach students to recognize that most students don’t use drugs, understand the consequences of using drugs, and resist internal and social pressures. To learn more about Project Alert click on www.projectalert.com.
Project Northland is rated an exemplary program by the U.S. Department of Education. The focus is on prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use for students in grades six through eight. The project’s goals are to delay the age when young people begin drinking, reduce alcohol among young people who have already tried it and limit the number of drug related problems. Project Northland was effective in changing peer influence to use alcohol, normative expectations about how many young people drink, and parent-child communication about the consequences of alcohol use and the reasons for not using alcohol. By incorporating evidence based strategies such as correcting misperceptions of norms, increasing perception of personal risk, life skills training and promoting pro-social norms Project Northland teaches youth decision making skills, assists in strengthening parenting skills, teaches youth interpersonal skills and provides information on substance abuse. To learn more about Project Northland click on the link www.hazelden.org.
Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)
PATHS is a comprehensive program for promoting emotional and social competencies and reducing aggression and behavior problems in elementary school-aged children while simultaneously enhancing the educational process. PATHS designed an innovative curriculum to be used by both educators and counselors. This curriculum incorporates life skills trainings by teaching students to build emotional literacy, self control, social skills, positive peer relationships and interpersonal problem solving skills. It has improved self control, understanding and recognition of emotions, increased ability to tolerate frustration and use of more effect conflict-resolution. To learn more about PATHS click on www.prevention.psu.edu
Seattle Social Development
The Seattle Social Development Project promotes pro-social norms and corrects misperception of norms by training teachers in active classroom management, promoting children’s pro-social involvement and commitment to the norm of not using drugs. This is a school based intervention program for grades 1-6 that seeks to reduce shared childhood risks for delinquency and drug abuse by enhancing protective factors and decreasing risk factors. Targeted risk factors to decrease are family management problems, early anti-social behaviors, academic failure, low commitment to schools, and friends involved in problem behaviors. Targeted protective factors to increase are opportunities, life skills, and bonding with family and schools. By increasing these protective factors students have healthy beliefs and clear standards which lead to healthy behaviors. Therefore students avoid drugs, delinquency, risky sexual behavior, violence and dropping out of school. To learn more about Seattle Social Development click on www.preventionnet.com.