A major initiative of Unified Family Services Systems, Bedford
County's Collaborative Board, Raising Healthy Children was a four-year,
scientifically tested, comprehensive school-based program in every county elementary school that
- Parenting workshops every year in every school district within Bedford
County for parents of primary grade students (K-3) and middle-level
students (ages 9-14)
- Training and coaching for all Bedford County elementary teachers to
strengthen classroom-management and instructional strategies in order
to promote school commitment and raise academic performance.
- Social skills training for all Bedford County elementary school students.
The program, funded in Bedford County through a 2006 grant from
the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, is the culmination
of the Seattle Social Development Project, a 30-year study conducted by
Dr. J. David Hawkins and Dr. Richard F. Catalano of the University of
Washington in schools throughout the United States.
Read about a December 2007 visit to the program by Dr. Catalano, Kevin Haggerty and Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchack.
Read about how RHC strategies at Everett Elementary is being showcased on a United States Department of Educaiton website.
The goal of the Raising Healthy Children program in Bedford County was to promote positive
youth development and academic success, and the program is based on the
- Every teacher makes a difference in the life of a child
- Every child can succeed
- The family is an important partner in learning.
Recent follow-up evaluations have found that students in Raising Healthy
Children schools showed significantly greater commitment to school and
significantly better academic achievement than students who had not participated.
For example, in follow up 15 years after implementation, students in RHC
- More likely to have graduated high school
- More likely to have completed 2 or more years of college
- 21% less likely to have been referred to school authorities because
- Have stronger emotional and mental health, with significantly better
regulation of emotions, compared with controls, as well as significantly
fewer symptoms of social phobia and fewer thoughts about suicide.
- Be 39 percent less likely to engage in heavy drinking, less likely
to be involved in crime, sold illegal drugs or be involved in a wide
variety of other crimes.
Because of its proven record for bettering children’s lives, the
Raising Healthy Children program has been honored with these citations
- Model Program (the highest possible rating), Center for Substance
- Effective Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Promising Program, U.S. Department of Education, Safe and Drug-Free
Schools Program’s Expert Panel
- Promising Program, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Want to learn more? Read Frequently Asked Questions
about Raising Healthy Children.
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