Many SS/HS sites have recognized the importance of focusing resources on prevention—for example, teaching social and emotional skills to young children in order to prevent problems that interfere with later academic success and to improve children’s long-term outcomes. The Adams County (Colorado) Youth Initiative, the SS/HS Initiative in the Adams 12 Five Star Schools, has successfully implemented this strategy.
The Adams County Youth Initiative currently has the greatest success rate in the state of Colorado for implementing the early childhood evidence-based program Incredible Years Dinosaur School (IY)—delivering the program to nearly 100% of the children attending the school district and Head Start preschool, and an estimated 50% of all four year olds in the county. IY is a highly effective program that has been proven, through years of rigorous research, to improve the mental, social, and emotional health of children ages 3–6. IY works with children, their parents, and their teachers to help each develop the skills necessary for children to arrive at school emotionally and socially ready to learn, and to succeed once they are there. IY boosts academic success, is culturally sensitive, and produces significant reductions in conduct problems and significant increases in social skills.
The outcomes for children in this program continue to be phenomenal, with huge gains in the amount of positive change every year. Positive outcomes include significant increases in children’s pro-social and communication skills, emotional regulation skills, academic skills, and overall social competence. The program has had an even greater impact on children who began the year with lower scores, demonstrating that the program is especially beneficial for children at highest risk for school failure.
- Supportive School Discipline Snapshot, p. 11
- ACYI Durbin Testimony
- ACYI video