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Early Risers - Skills for Success

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Early Risers "Skills for Success" is a multi-component, developmentally focused, competency-enhancement program that targets 6- to 12- year-old elementary school students who are at high risk for early development of conduct problems, including substance use. Early Risers is based on the premise that early, comprehensive, and sustained intervention is necessary to target multiple risk and protective factors. The program uses integrated child-, school-, and family-focused interventions to move high-risk children onto a more adaptive developmental pathway.
A "family advocate" (someone with a bachelor's degree and experience working with children/parents) coordinates the child- and family- focused components. The child-focused component has three parts: (1) Summer Day Camp, offered 4 days per week for 6 weeks and consisting of social-emotional skills education and training, reading enrichment, and creative arts experiences supported by a behavioral management protocol; (2) School Year Friendship Groups, offered during or after school and providing advancement and maintenance of skills learned over the summer; and (3) School Support, which occurs throughout each school year and is intended to assist and modify academic instruction, as well as address children's behavior while in school, through case management, consultation, and mentoring activities performed by the family advocate at school.

The family-focused component has two parts: (1) Family Nights with Parent Education, where children and parents come to a center or school five times per year during the evening, with children participating in fun activities while their parents meet in small groups for parenting-focused education and skills training; and (2) Family Support, which is the implementation of an individually designed case plan for each family to address their specific needs, strengths, and maladaptive patterns through goal setting, brief interventions, referral, continuous monitoring, and, if indicated, more intensive and tailored parent skills training.