Student Assistance Program successfully providing evidence-based prevention curricula in St. Lucie County schools
The Student Assistance Program (SAP), which is a free, in-school prevention program, is in the process of completing another school year of successful substance abuse and violence prevention programming in St. Lucie County. SAP, a program of New Horizons of the Treasure Coast, Inc., is funded by the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County and DCF’s Prevention Partnership Grant. SAP’s Prevention Specialists are currently responsible for provided all 5th graders in St. Lucie County with the district-mandated Too Good for Drugs curriculum, which is a 10-week evidence-based substance abuse prevention program. In addition to the Too Good for Drugs curriculum (which has appropriate curriculum programs for grades K – 8), SAP can provide the following evidence-based prevention programs to students in elementary and middle school: Too Good for Violence, Second Step and the Peace4Kids curriculum. Throughout the school year, SAP is in a total of 29 St. Lucie County K-8, elementary and middle schools.
The five main educational components of the Too Good for Drugs curriculum are: goal setting, decision making skills, bonding with positive peer groups, identifying and managing emotions, and effective communication skills. SAP began implementing the Too Good for Drugs curriculum in school year 2009-10. That school year, the curriculum was presented to 931 students in 49 different classrooms. In school year 2012-13, SAP provided the Too Good for Drugs curriculum to 3217 students in 160 different classrooms. This school year (2013-14), SAP is on pace to provide the curriculum to even more students.
The four main educational components of the Too Good for Violence curriculum are: conflict resolution, anger management, respect for self and others, and effective communication. In school year 2010-11, which is the first year SAP began using the Too Good for Violence in the schools, they provided the curriculum to 272 students in 25 different classrooms. In school year 2012-13, SAP provided this curriculum to 1839 students in 112 different classrooms. So far for this school year, SAP has already provided the curriculum to 1929 students (and counting!)
The best news is that for this school year and the past two school years, 100% of the classrooms that received either of these curricula showed an increase on their post-test score averages compared with their pre-test score averages, indicating that the students have increased their knowledge about the life skills and protective factors necessary to help avoid the onset of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, bullying and other high risk-behaviors.
For more information about the Student Assistance Program call 772-467-3010.