TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE STARTING A PEERS PROGRAM
PEER PROGRAMS FAIL
HELPING PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS
TO GET YOUR FACULTY TO SUPPORT YOUR PROGRAM
YOUR PEER HELPERS
OF PEER HELPERS
BLOCKS FOR A TOBACCO PREVENTION EDUCATION PROGRAM
1) What are the goals of my program?
2) Why am I starting this program?
3) Have I discussed this idea with students/youth, administrators,
teachers, and counselors? And, if so, what was their response?
4) How am I going to fund this program? (Both in the long term and
5) Who at the school/agency is willing to help and support my program'!
6) What are the needs of this particular school/community, and how
will my program address them?
7) What steps do I need to take in order to put this program together?
8) How much time and energy can I really devote to getting this
project off the ground? Do I feel strongly enough about peer helping
to commit that much time and energy?
9) What will the students/youth be doing once they are trained?
10) How do I plan on recruiting students/youth? Selecting them?
What kind of youth am I looking for?
11) Who will staff my program?
12) Who will train the youth, and what kinds of training material
do we have at our disposal'? Where can I find a great training manual
13) Do I have a sufficient amount of space within the school/agency
to conduct the kind of program I envision? If not, how do I find
more space or adapt my program to the amount of space available?
14) What are the individual strengths that I bring this program,
and how can I best utilize those strengths when selling my goals?
15) What is a comfortable "beginning size" for my program,
and how fast do I want to grow? 16. How do I go about pulling together
an advisory board for my project, and whom do I want on that board?
• Failure to involve the rest of the school
or the community
• Program Coordinator leaves the program
• Not enough time for Coordinator to Plan and Supervise
• Over-ambitious goals
• Not Enough Funds
Help new and transfer students adjust to school through school tours,
special friends assignment and class presentation. Could be one
time event or a continuing relationship for a few weeks or throughout
the school year.
PEER EDUCATION: Students develop
and lead class presentations or school activities on subjects such
as school bullying, racism, AIDS/HIV, substance abuse, smoking,
child abuse, violence prevention, mediation skills, decision making,
peer pressure, refusal skills, depression and suicide, etc.
CONFLICT MEDIATION: Students are
trained in a conflict resolution process and then mediate disputes
involving other students or between students and staff.
VIOLENCE PREVENTION- Students make
classroom presentations and lead group discussion about why violence
occurs and how it can be prevented.
EL RAP: Students help new peers
practice their English and learn about their new culture in small
safe discussion groups.
BUDDY CONNECTION: Match older students
with freshmen, transfer, immigrant or needy students for formal
or informal meetings. Usually a very active project around student
orientation time, which tapers off during the year
PEER CONNECTION: Outreach to nearby
middle and elementary
schools for one-to-one or small group activities.
SUPPORT GROUPS: Students lead or
co-lead support groups on special or general topics, as drop-in
or informal groups, in class, at lunch or after school. Possible
targeted student populations: children of alcoholics, at-risk students,
9th graders, smokers, refugee youth, substance abusers, women's
groups, EL speakers, etc.
PEER COUNSELING: Students help others
through one-on-one contacts to assist and refer when necessary.
Counseling can be informal with students using skills with friends
or formal with specific drop-in hours or through referrals by staff.
Students may keep records on peer counseling contacts.
TUTORING: Tutoring can occur before
school, after school, during lunch and in class. Tutors may be volunteers
or receive elective or service credits. In-class tutors usually
are assigned to a specific class where they tutor every day.
1) Give them what they want! Ask them for program
ideas and suggestions.
2) Form an advisory committee. (Pick someone who does not like or
approve of your program)
3) Create a one page monthly newsletter with information on what
your program has accomplished, plans on doing, statistics, and upcoming
4) Acknowledge people's concerns
5) Get used to saying "What a great idea that is!" or
"We really should do that!" Make your program ideas come
6) Sponsor a faculty/student rap group. Have your students invite
their teachers (especially the one who you're always pulling students
7) Invite the administration to sit in on your training/class. Have
the students ask the principal what he/she sees as the major issues/problems
at the school!
8) Make presentations to your school board.
9) Make presentations to your PTA.
10) Recruit your PTA's president's child into your program.
11) Do a year report/evaluation. Distribute them to faculty.
12) Give them what they want! Ask them for ideas and suggestions.
When selecting peer helpers, you may want
to look for the
1. Demonstrated behavior that is caring, accepting, genuine, understanding
2. An understanding and acceptance of the responsibilities and limitations
of the peer helper's role.
3. The ability to be sensitive to students from diverse backgrounds.
4. The time to devote to training and projects.
5. The ability to serve as a positive role model.
6. The willingness to seek and accept adult supervision.
WHAT SORT OF YOUTH ARE YOU LOOKING FOR TO DO PEER HELPING
Are you big enough to be a peer helper? Do you have a heart big
enough to feel for more than just yourself and your friends but
also for others in need?
Do you have a mind big enough to understand more than just your
own feelings but how someone outside your group might feel? Do you
have the ability to listen to all sides of a problem without giving
advice and just be there for someone who needs you just to listen?
Are you strong enough to keep what you hear and see to yourself
when you are helping someone, to never gossip about or put down
someone you are to help.
If you think you are a big enough person to do these things then
we need you to be a peer helper.
1) School Site Policy with mandatory awareness for
students who get caught or in the possession of tobacco. This needs
to be in reality, not just on paper or in theory!! Make sure the
Deans or Assistant Principal in charge of discipline are on board
and enforce this policy. Make sure that all security aides know
of and enforce the policy. This needs to be repeated EVERY YEAR!
2) Offer Awareness/ Readiness for Cessation Program. Options can
include Saturday School, After School Awareness/Detention, and individual
3) Offer a Quit/Cessation Group. If at all possible, this should
be a pull out program.
4) Counseling for youth attending Awareness or Cessation groups.
5) Inform teachers about your program. This could be done by presentations
at faculty meetings, bi-monthly newsletters, and infusion training
6) Education on Tobacco for students. This can be done by trained
Peer Educators or by training faculty in infusion (sometimes known
as intrusion) lessons. USE A RESEARCH-BASED CURRICULUM!
7) Every school should have a Comprehensive Health Prevention Education
program with researched based age appropriate curriculum (in which
those teaching were trained in), which includes lessons on tobacco.
8) Assessment and Evaluation.
9) Clarification of the role of the TUPE Site Coordinator.