Recent research into effective strategies for drug prevention and violence prevention has found that there are important experiences that make young people less likely to abuse drugs and engage in violent behavior. The WiseSkills character education program applies drug and violence prevention research by involving young people in a variety of classroom, schoolwide, family, and service activities that develop the critical character qualities that help them make healthy choices. WiseSkills applies drug and violence prevention research in two areas: 1) Resiliency2) Developmental Assets
Prevention research has shown that young people who face “risk factors”--including parental drug use, poverty, family conflict, and academic failure--become more resilient to using drugs or committing acts of violence when they were provided with Protective Factors. These Protective Factors serve to “protect,” or reduce, the impact of the negative experiences and, thus, foster effective drug and violence prevention.
The three primary Protective Factors that build resiliency are listed below along with how WiseSkills addresses each factor.
Protective Factor # 1: Caring & Support • WiseSkills helps school staff consistently model good character • WiseSkills creates a schoolwide environment of respect & tolerance • WiseSkills teaches and reinforces the skills and qualities that create a positive school climate, including: compassion, service, friendship, responsibility, honesty, conflict resolution, fairness, citizenship
Protective Factor # 2: High Expectations • WiseSkills sends consistent character messages to students about positive choices • WiseSkills establishes high standards for behavior • WiseSkills provides a positive approach to classroom management and discipline • WiseSkills provides ongoing classroom and schoolwide reinforcement of good character • WiseSkills integrates principles of character across-the-curriculum
Protective Factor # 3: Active Involvement • WiseSkills trains students to be classroom/school peer mediators • WiseSkills involves students in school and community service projects • WiseSkills engages families in teaching character at home