Learning Objectives: ensure continuity in youth prevention strategies for youth from 12 to 21 by establishing an integrated middle school, high school and college program and utilizing school-based and community-based programs
Abstract: This presentation will address two challenges to youth prevention: 1) to ensure continuity, 2) to determine the appropriate setting for youth programs.
There is a need to recruit and orient new youths each year. At the same time, experienced leaders are lost annually as they graduate and move on to college. The second challenge lies in identifying whether a community-based program or school-based program is the appropriate setting for reaching youth. Community-based programs avoid the authoritarian atmosphere associated with school; yet they present logistical problems in getting members to meetings and events. On the other hand, school is where youths spend most of their time, and it is easy to organize activities there.
New Jersey’s experiences in establishing a comprehensive youth program for 12 to 21 year olds will be the basis for exploring solutions to these challenges. The presentation will describe the State’s three-stage youth program and how it supports continuity and uses multiple venues for reaching youth. The program includes: · A core community based program for teens in high school, REBEL (Reaching Everyone By Exposing Lies); · A school-based middle school program, REBEL 2, which orients students in anti-tobacco messages and activities and prepares them for REBEL membership; · ROCS (REBEL’s Official College Support Staff) program enlists college students to train and mentor REBEL teens.
The presentation will also discuss how school-based and community-based programs complement each other in New Jersey. Conference participants will learn how to establish and maintain these kinds of comprehensive programs.
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