The Carbondale PROSPER Team, in collaboration with community schools, offers both in-school and a family-focused programs. Unlike other agencies and organizations, the PROSPER Team supports the delivery of programs designed to promote skills that are relevant and meant to be beneficial to all youth and families, not just those “at risk.” By implementing both a school and a family program, youth are supported in the two most important domains of their lives, home and school.
The Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum is taught by Carbondale K-3 teachers. The PATHS program is grounded in the science of children's brain development, which has determined that children experience and react to strong emotions before developing the cognitive abilities to verbalize them. The PATHS program's practical, effective strategies teach children how to label their feelings and apply self-control strategies, leading to significant improvements in coping skills, classroom behavior, and verbal fluency.
LifeSkills Training is delivered to 8th grade students by Carbondale Area health teachers. This program focuses on three critical skill development areas that research has shown can substantially reduce the likelihood of high-risk behaviors. Areas of focus include drug resistance skills, personal self-management skills, and general social skills. LifeSkills Training is taught throughout the school year.
The Strengthening Families Program: for Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14) is offered annually to 5th and 6th graders and their parents. This program features a concurrent parent-only and youth-only hour long segment, followed by an hour long joint family segment. Interactive sessions include role playing, discussions, learning games and family projects. The SFP: 10-14 is taught to a group of 8 to 13 families over a period of seven weeks. The Carbondale PROSPER Team offers the SFP: 10-14 on Sundays and a week night from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. in the fall and winter. Free meals, child care and transportation assistance (if needed) are provided.
These programs have been carefully selected based on compelling scientific evidence that they are effective for helping youth lead successful lives. To ensure that these programs are implemented as designed year after year, the PROSPER Team receives guidance from Penn State Extension and prevention researchers at PSU’s Prevention Research Center.