[Jamestown, NY] – Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council (CASAC) Prevention Educator, Leslie Bianco, presented the Elementary Life Skills Training to Lincoln Elementary school fourth grade classes. The eight-week lessons are being taught to third and fourth graders at Lincoln, Love, Bush and Ring Elementary Schools. Lessons include: self-esteem, decision-making, avoiding the effects of smoking information, dealing with stress, media literacy, communication and social skills and assertiveness. CASAC is also presenting this program with all of the fifth grade classes at Jefferson Middle School.
“We are so lucky to have this wonderful collaboration with CASAC,” said JPS 21st Century Grants Director Amanda Gesing. “Our students benefit from these experts who have age-appropriate curriculum to talk to our them about the importance of drug and alcohol prevention, and more importantly, giving them the tools to live their best life without drugs and alcohol. We can’t thank them enough for providing this programming to so many of our students.”
The Elementary Life Skills Training is just one of many ways CASAC is helping Jamestown students. CASAC is also presenting the Too Good for Drugs (TGFD) Program.” They are implementing this program with kindergartners at Ring and Love, 1st graders at Love, Ring and Fletcher and 2nd graders at all JPS elementary schools. This program is also taught with JHS health classes and the Justice for All class. The age-appropriate program develops skills and is designed to mitigate the risk factors and enhance protective factors related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. This program is also being used with students at the JHS Technology Academy. The program introduces and develops social and emotional skills for making healthy choices, building positive friendships, communicating effectively and resisting peer pressure. Too Good for Drugs teaches five essential social and emotional learning skills, which research has linked with healthy development and academic success: goal setting, decision making, bonding with pro-social others, identifying and managing emotions, and communicating effectively. CASAC is also giving lessons at all Jamestown After School programming using the Too Good for Drugs and the Elementary Life Skills Training programs.
At Persell Middle School, seventh and eighth graders are participating in a program called the Alcohol Literacy Challenge with Devyn Agett’s Health classes. Alcohol Literacy Challenge (ALC) is a brief classroom-based program designed to alter alcohol expectancies and reduce the quantity and frequency of alcohol use among high school and college students. Alcohol expectancies are an individual’s beliefs about the anticipated effects of alcohol use, including those that are positive (e.g., increased sociability, reduced tension) and negative (e.g., impairments to mental and behavioral functioning, increased aggressiveness or risk taking). Some of the most desired effects nare placebo effects rather than pharmacological ones. ALC aims to correct erroneous beliefs about the effects of alcohol, decreasing positive and increasing negative expectancies.
“We are more than excited to be able to provide and implement evidence-based prevention programming in the Jamestown Public Schools,” Laurie Reynolds, Associate Director/Director of Program Services. “They have been such a great collaborator and they have welcomed CASAC Prevention Educators with open arms! We are very appreciative of this wonderful partnership.”
The CASAC Prevention Educators implementing all of these programs in the Jamestown Schools are: Leslie Bianco, Trish Whetstone, Tracy Jespersen and Eric Williams.