Strategy 1: Engaging Students in Community Prevention.
The first evidence based prevention strategy that can be effectively incorporated into k-12 classes and school wide prevention programming is engaging students in community prevention. As they address real life issues at the community level, students question and challenge at risk behavior. They align themselves with "pro-social" groups and individuals. Research indicates that such associations reduce the risk that an individual will engage in problem behavior.
Linking students to community prevention activities enhances the student's sense of belonging and significance. It increases the teacher's knowledge of the community and its resources.
There are a variety of ways in which students may be engaged in community prevention. For example:
- Through service learning students may volunteer to work with community agencies and organizations engaged in treatment and prevention of drug abuse or prevention of violence.
- Students may engage in community anti-drug or anti-violence campaigns. In social science classes they may study the harm substance abuse and violence do to the community. In language arts and graphic arts classes they may develop messages for community prevention campaigns.