The Jim Thorpe PROSPER Team, in collaboration with community schools, offers both in-school and 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 school and family programs, youth are supported in the two most important domains of their lives, home and school.
PROSPER programs in Jim Thorpe:
The Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum is delivered to 4th graders. 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 6th-8th grade students. 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 is offered every semester to 5th and 6th grade students 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. Each semester, the Jim Thorpe PROSPER Team offers the SFP: 10-14 on Tuesday evenings for Penn Kidder School and Wednesday evenings for LB Morris Elementary School.
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 Penn State’s Prevention Research Center.