Raising Healthy Children
Overview | Sample Timeline | Staff Development Costs | Family Support Programs
The Raising Healthy Children program is a social development approach to positive
youth development. The approach incorporates school, family and individual
programs to promote key elements that research has shown are critical for creating
strong connections and bonds that children need to succeed in school and life;
opportunities, skills, and recognition. The school program is based on the belief that
every teacher makes a difference in the life of a child, that every child can succeed,
and that the family is an important partner in learning. In short, the Raising Healthy
Children program focuses on creating a caring community of learners. This program
creates strong connections in students' lives by committing to comprehensive
schoolwide action to strengthen instructional practices and family involvement. No
single entity can ensure the positive development of a community's young people.
That's why the Raising Healthy Children program involves the school,the family, and
peers to promote the positive development of students.
Research has documented the long-term effectiveness of the Raising Healthy Children approach in making a
significant difference in students' lives. We know from research that a schoolwide approach is effective because:
- It affects the entire social environment of the student, classroom, family, and peers. The focus is on
creating a caring community of learners by promoting opportunities for meaningful involvement, social and
emotional skills to promote successful involvement and rewards and recognition for positive involvement.
Additionally, strong norms, practices, and policies that promote success in the classroom are developed and
- It develops a broad base of support and teamwork. Everyone has a part to play. No parent or teacher is
responsible for meeting the challenges alone. A schoolwide approach that includes family programs maximizes
the opportunity for success.
- It brings results that are long lasting. Programs and strategies used in the school and with families promote
long-term, positive youth development.
Elementary School Program: Raising Healthy Children (RHC) is a multifaceted program with components focusing on classroom teachers, parents, and students with the goal of decreasing the negative impact of the student in the classroom by providing services to the family. The teacher intervention includes a series of workshops for instructional improvement in classroom management. Workshops focus on instructional strategies shown to be effective in mainstream classrooms in reducing academic risks and early aggressive behaviors while enhancing protective factors among elementary students. Workshop topics include proactive classroom management, cooperative learning methods, strategies to enhance student motivation, student involvement and participation, reading strategies, and interpersonal problem-solving skills. Teachers from the same school attend workshops together to foster and reinforce shared learning experiences. In addition, after each workshop RHC project staff provide classroom coaching for teachers. After the first year of the project, teachers participate in monthly booster sessions to further reinforce RHC teaching strategies. Teachers are also provided a substitute for a half-day so they can observe other project teachers using RHC teaching strategies in their classrooms. Implementation of the RHC program for parents is conducted by school-home coordinators who are classroom teachers or specialists with experience in providing services to parents and families. Parent training and involvement are offered through various mechanisms such as five-session parenting group workshops, selected topic workshops, and in-home problem-solving sessions. Topics for parent training include family management skills and "How to Help Your Child Succeed in School." In addition, monthly newsletters are sent to parents to reinforce and extend parenting content regarding the RHC intervention. The student intervention consists of summer camps targeting students with academic or behavioral problems who are recommended by teachers or parents. In addition, in-home services are provided for students referred for behavior or academic problems.
Extending the Program through Middle and High School: If the program is extended into middle school and high school, there are individual, family, and teacher components offered. Individual interventions include after-school tutoring and study clubs during grades 4-6 and individualized booster sessions and group-based work during middle and high school years. Social skills booster retreats are also offered during middle school to provide peer intervention strategies for students to learn and practice social, emotional, and problem-solving skills. Group and individual interventions are offered to families during grades 1-8. During high school, booster sessions are delivered through home visits in which both parents and students complete assessments that cover specific developmental risk areas. The sessions are individualized to target specific skills identified through the assessment process. Teachers receive staff development workshops through grade 7.
SDRG 315 (P) 15pp
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SDRG 191 (P) 22pp
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SDRG 407 (P) 21pp
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SDRG 322 (P) 7pp
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SDRG 284 (P) 60pp
Hawkins, J. David, Smith, Brian H., Hill, Karl G., Kosterman, Rick, Catalano, Richard F., Abbott, Robert D., Thornberry, Terence P. (2003). Understanding and preventing crime and violence: Findings from the Seattle Social Development Project. In Thornberry, Terence P. & Krohn, Marvin D. (Eds.), Taking stock of delinquency: An overview of findings from contemporary longitudinal studies (pp 255-312). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.
SDRG 231 (P) 12pp
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SDRG 187 (P) 9pp
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SDRG 264 (P) 10pp
Lonczak, Heather S., Abbott, Robert D., Hawkins, J. David, Kosterman, Rick, Catalano, Richard F. (2002). Effects of the Seattle Social Development Project on sexual behavior, pregnancy, birth, and sexually transmitted disease outcomes by age 21 years. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 156(5), 438-447.