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Positive Action included on CSAP Western CAPT

Prevention Information for CSAP's Western Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies

A recent document distributed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides convincing data as to how academic achievement and other outcomes related to school performance are enhanced by the implementation of model prevention programs.

All of the above programs are comprehensive; most (including Positive Action) are also multi component, i.e., they involve both school and family. Although most are designed for elementary grades, programs targeting preschool, middle school, and high school are also included.

While these programs were designed primarily to prevent or reduce substance abuse, they were also found to improve reading, written expression, and math skills; increase school attendance and school bonding; and reduce school failure.

In general, Model Programs demonstrate that by improving the overall social and behavioral functioning of children and youth, enhancing parental and family competence, and reducing exposure to or participation in substance se, they positively affect students' academic performance.

Proven academic outcomes include improved grades, increased grade-point average, increased credits earned, improved standardized test scores, improved rates of next-grade promotion and graduation. Other behavioral outcomes included greater participation in after-school and learning activities, increased parental involvement, and fewer suspensions and drop outs.

In an era of greater testing for subject area mastery, coupled with tight budgets and stricter accountability on the part of the school administrators, these outcomes are exceptionally good news! In some cases, they may make the difference between being able to enlist administrators' support for prevention programming or not.