We are excited to announce we are partnering with New Hampton, Nashua-Plainfield, and St. Joseph’s Schools with funding from Pathways Behavioral Services through the Iowa Partnerships for Success (IPFS) Grant to implement the All Stars educational program this school year! All Stars is an evidence/research-based program. This means, it has been shown to keep youth from engaging in risky behaviors like underage drinking for longer. All Stars focuses on what research has shown to be the 5 most influential strategies to delay the onset of risky behavior: normative beliefs, idealism, personal commitment, parent/adult attention, and bonding.
All Stars is unique in that it gives youth an opportunity to plan a future for themselves in ways they haven't before. Along with their peers, they will think about what they want and don't want in their future and how risky behaviors such as drinking alcohol, using tobacco, and fighting will affect their future. All Stars will challenge and engage our youth through an art project, games, video making and large and small group discussions. All Stars also gives parents or caregivers the opportunity to talk with their child about what they want most for their future. Through four assignments, adults will have the chance to see what their child is thinking for themselves and their future and how they can support it.
All Stars will be implemented during a pivotal time for youth, middle school. During middle school, youth experience developmental changes resulting in a greater desire for belonging or "fitting in" among peers, and start to question and push for independence from parents and other authority figures. According to the 2014 Iowa Youth Survey, 85% of Chickasaw County 6th graders report never having more than a few sips of alcohol. By 8th grade, this percentage is down to 70% and by 11th grade, it drops to 38%. The three schools have arranged to deliver the program in 7th grade, before most kids have started drinking, and close to the time they will start experiencing peer pressure. We greatly appreciate these three schools’ willingness to integrate All Stars into their schedules!
An evaluation will be conducted each year to measure what impact All Stars has on our students. We are confident this program will lead to positive changes and look forward to sharing the results with the community. The IPFS Grant is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information on the IPFS Grant, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/substance-abuse/programs/ipfs.
Carol Hopp, CHES, CPS
Partnerships for Success Coordinator
Pathways Behavioral Services
823 W. Main St.
New Hampton, IA 50659