What is the Bedford County Raising Healthy Children
The four-year Bedford County Raising Healthy Children program, which began during the 2006-07 school year,
is providing social-skills training for elementary school students, training
for teachers to improve classroom-management methods, and workshops for
parents to help them communicate more effectively with their children
and with their children’s school personnel. Scientifically tested,
comprehensive, and school-based, the Raising Healthy Children program
promotes positive youth development and academic success. The program
includes three basic components: a school component, a family component,
and a peer component.
Raising Healthy Children program is the culmination of the Seattle Social
Development Project (SSDP), a 15-year study conducted by Dr. J David Hawkins
and Dr. Richard F. Catalano in urban, multiethnic elementary schools in
the Seattle, Washington School District, and in replications around the
Who developed the Raising Healthy Children program?
It was developed by J. David Hawkins, Ph.D., and Richard
F. Catalano, Ph.D., professors of social work and directors of the Social
Development Research Group at the University of Washington. Dr. Hawkins
and Dr. Catalano, pioneers in the field of prevention research and developers
of the Social Development Strategy, are internationally known for their
groundbreaking work in the area of risk and protective factors.
How do we know that the Raising Healthy Children
In the most recent follow-up study, researchers found that the
benefits of the SSDP lasted through the age of 21. Female students who
participated in the SSDP were less likely to be pregnant by age 21 (38%
compared with 56% of the control group).
In previous studies, students who participated in the SSDP
were 19% less likely to commit a violent delinquent act, 39% less likely
to engage in heavy drinking, and 21% less likely to have been referred
to school authorities because of misbehavior. The SSDP participants also
showed significantly greater commitment to school and significantly better
academic achievement than students who had not participated.
Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
What is the duration of the Raising Healthy Children
program and how is it structured?
In order to maximize the success of the intervention and to ensure implementation
fidelity, the Raising Healthy Children program is installed over the course
of four school years. The first two years include active training for
staff development and parent workshop leaders, and coaching of school
staff and support personnel. The third and fourth years include ongoing
enhancement of teaching and parent-support strategies.
Is the Raising Healthy Children program cost effective?
Yes! The Washington State Institute for Public Policy conducted an independent
analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the SSDP. While the analysis examined
only the benefits related to crime reduction, the SSDP was found to pay
for itself through reductions in future crime costs, yielding positive
economic returns. For every dollar invested in the Raising Healthy Children
program, it is estimated that the community will save at least $4.25 due
to projected reductions in crime. Reductions in other delinquent and unhealthy
behaviors will only increase a community’s savings.
Who is coordinating the Bedford County Raising Healthy
The program is coordinated by Unified Family Services Systems,
the county's collaborative board, and co-sponsored by the five school
districts in Bedford County - Bedford Area, Everett Area, Chestnut Ridge,
Northern Bedford County and Tussey Mountain.
Who is funding the project in Bedford County?
The project is funded through a competitive grant from the Pennsylvania
Commission on Crime and Delinquency under its Research-Based Delinquency
Prevention program. UFSS applied for the grant in Spring 2006 and received
a commitment of $975,000 over the next four years. In addition, local
school districts are providing a significant in-kind match by making their
teachers available for training during 12 in-service days. A portion of the
project in 2007 is being supported through an additional grant from PCCD
to the Bedford County Communities that Care Prevention Board.
What are the School Program Components?
1. School-wide management and discipline strategies for the playground,
lunchroom, hallways, etc.
2. Principal, facilitator, and family support coordinator implementation
3. Classroom management strategies, such as techniques to:
- establish consistent expectations for behaviors and routines at the
beginning of the school year
- give clear, explicit instructions for behavior
- recognize and reward desirable behavior and efforts to comply
- keep routine classroom disruptions from interrupting instruction.
4. Staff development in instructional strategies, such as techniques
- assess and activate foundation knowledge before teaching
- teach to explicit learning objectives
- motivate students to learn
- actively engage all students in meaningful learning.
What are the Family Support Program Components?
- School family support team
- Parent education programs (Learn
What are the Peer Program Components?
- Child social and emotional skill development
- interpersonal problem-solving skills
- conflict resolution
- recognizing feelings
- consequential thinking.
A Raising Healthy Children school is a place where:
- All students, staff, and parents experience a safe, nurturing, and
caring learning environment in which disruptions are minimized.
- School, home, and community share positive, healthy beliefs and clear
standards for academic and social behavior.
- All students are motivated and actively involved in learning.
- All students, families, and staff have opportunities to be meaningfully
involved in learning.
- All students learn the social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral
skills they need for healthy development.
- All students, staff, and families are recognized and celebrated for
- All members of the learning community are actively engaged in solving
problems, resolving conflicts, and setting positive goals.
- All teachers and parents actively support intellectual, social and
emotional, and behavioral development.
- All students, teachers, and families develop a commitment to learning.
- All students feel they can, they care, and they count.
- Research-tested teaching and management practices are well implemented.
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