(The Daily Dish) Escalante is a very rural community that has few resources and hasn’t had a lot of prevention programs or initiatives in the community for years. 

Prevention is a science and we all know there are things in the community that put kids at risk for use, and there are things we can do to protect them from use, or buffer against risk. Looking at Data specific to Escalante is one of the things they’ve identified as a risk factor for students in their community for underage drinking, drug use, and mental health issues is a low commitment to the school.

Students are not feeling connected or bonded to their school or peers. 80% of their youth attending Escalante schools reported there was a low commitment to their school, they do have high numbers of opportunities to participate in school classroom discussions, but only 49% reported that my teachers praise me when I work hard in school.

What programs are available?

One of the programs that the Escalante Prevention Coalition was able to offer the High School teachers was the Social Development Strategy, it can be used in a school setting, at home, or in any other youth group. In these settings, if we are teaching a child a skill, allow them to perform the skill and give them the recognition and praise for their efforts those children feel bonded to the person teaching them! 

Teachers were already doing this in some form, but they needed to add recognition and praise. They have trained the teachers on the Social development Strategy and how they can apply it in their classes more meaningfully.

In addition, they offered the teachers additional funds to spend in their classrooms to implement the strategy, part of that included the teachers having to write up a proposal of how they wanted to incorporate it, and then they approved it to make sure it fit what they were trying to accomplish.

Southwest Prevention offers many services available to all ages, visit their website or you can also reach out to the Escalante Prevention Coalition via phone at (435) 616-4070 or by visiting their Facebook Page.

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