Positive Action meets the requirements of Title I and helps the school focus program resources on participating children. It has been used with students in targeted assistance programs for a number of years. The curriculum directly assists disadvantaged students by teaching them the positive actions they need to know in order to achieve. Students learn that the time when they most need to achieve starts now.
Positive Action is based upon sound theories of education and behavioral change, multiple intelligences and other pedagogical research. It has a systemic approach that impacts all parts of the educational system. The research studies confirm that Positive Action improves the academic achievement, attendance and behavior of students by increasing positive behaviors and decreasing negative behaviors.
Positive Action provides many kinds of support for students who experience difficulty mastering academic competencies. It provides opportunities for extra counseling, mentoring and after-school programs. It also builds students’ self-esteem and intrinsic motivation by teaching that positive thoughts lead to positive actions which lead to positive feelings about themselves, which in turn lead to more positive thoughts. This assumes the intrinsic motivation that everyone wants to feel good about themselves and it brings this process to a conscious level and gives students specific positive actions to do to feel good about themselves.
The studies indicate that Positive Action closes the gap between high-achieving and low-achieving students. It effectively increases positive behaviors and decreases negative behaviors directly affecting academic achievement. When teachers don’t have to spend most of their time disciplining students they can spend more time teaching their class and giving special attention to those who need help such as Special Education and at-risk students.
Positive Action is considered a schoolwide reform program. It has been named by a number of the school reform groups as a model program. It has a systemic approach that impacts all parts of the educational system. Research studies confirm that schoolwide implementation of the Positive Action program improves school climate, creates a shared vision and leads to improved academic achievement, attendance and behavior of students.
Positive Action features a comprehensive design for effective school functions that aligns all program components. Beginning with the adoption process in which a Positive Action Committee and Coordinator are appointed, the implementation of Positive Action runs smoothly. The Committee utilizes the Implementation Plan which describes the program and how the components are aligned to lead the organization and structure of a school.
The program is designed as a comprehensive PreK-12 curriculum and includes components for students, teachers, administrators, counselors, families and the community. All components are based on the same philosophy that you feel good about yourself when you do positive actions. Six focus units address physical, intellectual, social and emotional positive actions and unite all components, enabling the whole school, family and community to share the same vision and have a common language and understanding.
Positive Action increases parental involvement in schools. Curriculum lessons often require take-home activities encouraging students to share what they learn in the classroom. Parents also have the opportunity to become more involved as members of the Positive Action Committee representing family interests in the implementation of Positive Action. Parents take part in program goal-setting and participate in the school curriculum and school-wide climate programs.
Parents are also encouraged to obtain a Family Kit and teach lessons at home further reinforcing the positive concepts for their children. They can also attend parenting classes that are using the Parenting Classes Kit which teaches parents and families how to use the Family Kit in just seven sessions.
Often students’ home environments are not conducive to preparing them to learn and achieve. Those skills are taught in the Family Kit. Similar to the school curriculum the Family Kit teaches the important positive behaviors for the physical, intellectual, social and emotional areas. With the Family Kit as a resource parents can learn how best to prepare their children at home to be successful learners.
Positive Action makes school a better place to be for Teachers, students, support staff and administrators. As students’ academic and behavioral performance improves schools are better able to attract and retain high-quality Teachers. Teachers will be able to work in an environment where students are respectful, motivated and challenged.
They will be confident in the safety of their students and themselves. They will feel and witness pride in personal, school and student achievement. They will know they are making a difference by helping students to succeed. As a result Positive Action schools create an environment that attracts high-quality teachers.
Positive Action lessons are scripted and all the materials to teach the lessons are provided. The lessons and materials are easy for teachers to use and engaging for students. The tenets of the Positive Action program remind teachers of core educational philosophies and values in which they are trained. eachers are encouraged to model the positive behaviors they teach which greatly improves their skills and attitude toward teaching.
The Positive Action catalog includes a Pre-K Kit that helps pre-school children prepare for transition into the local elementary school program by teaching the affiliative behaviors and preparatory academic skills essential to excelling in school. The Pre- K research study found the Kit was effective for all the evaluated skills and behaviors.
In their first lessons in the Positive Action Kindergarten program, children re-learn that they feel good about themselves when they do positive actions. Based upon this foundation they learn the positive actions for the physical, intellectual, social and emotional areas.
Students learn specific positive actions for achieving in reading, math and other content areas, as well as social skills, making good choices and managing themselves. When students begin to grasp these intuitive concepts at a young age they are better prepared to face the trials of a K-12 education. This early childhood development program is effective to equip children with all of the important skills and motivation they need to achieve.
Positive Action strives to connect the dots by bringing schools, families and communities together for positive change. The program works at the Federal, State and local levels and has many sites where all the various levels are coordinated in doing the Positive Action program. Positive Action is a model program for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that has a community-based approach to integrate the Federal, State and local service programs for solving problem behaviors in high need individuals, schools, families and communities.
This comprehensive approach to coordinated reform encourages schools to draw upon community sources for support. A Community Kit and a Media Training Workshop help facilitate the link between Positive Action, schools, families and communities.
Many schools have found success with Positive Action in their Title I efforts. It closes the gap between the highest and lowest performing students using a comprehensive approach to reform schools, meet the needs of disadvantaged children and improve student behavior and academic performance. It works in any school regardless of socioeconomic, ethnic, linguistic or cultural characteristics.