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Key Peer Resource Tips

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE STARTING A PEERS PROGRAM

WHY PEER PROGRAMS FAIL

PEER HELPING PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS

HOW TO GET YOUR FACULTY TO SUPPORT YOUR PROGRAM

CHOOSING YOUR PEER HELPERS

SELECTION OF PEER HELPERS

BUILDING BLOCKS FOR A TOBACCO PREVENTION EDUCATION PROGRAM

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE STARTING A PEERS 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 short term)
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 or guide?
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?

WHY PEER PROGRAMS FAIL

• 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

PEER HELPING PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS

ORIENTATION/TRANSITION ASSISTANCE: 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.

HOW TO GET YOUR FACULTY/ADMINISTRATION TO SUPPORT YOUR PROGRAM

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 events.
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 from them.
6) Sponsor a faculty/student rap group. Have your students invite their teachers (especially the one who you're always pulling students out of.)
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.

CHOOSING YOUR PEER HELPERS

When selecting peer helpers, you may want to look for the
following:

1. Demonstrated behavior that is caring, accepting, genuine, understanding and trustworthy.
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.

SELECTION OF PEER HELPERS

SAMPLE

RECRUITMENT TOOLS
WHAT SORT OF YOUTH ARE YOU LOOKING FOR TO DO PEER HELPING WORK?

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.

BUILDING BLOCKS FOR A COMPREHENSIVE TOBACCO PREVENTION EDUCATION PROGRAM

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 meetings.

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 for faculty.

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.

 

 

 

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Peer Resource
Training & Consulting

2009 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94131
415-872-9595
E-mail Ira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Instead of learning about energizers and ice breakers, how to write a purpose stamen for our program, or how to develop lessons for our program, we actually did these things."

TRAININGS | SCHEDULE | ABOUT PEER RESOURCE TRAINING | IRA SACHNOFF | RESOURCES | CONTACT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Instead of learning about energizers and ice breakers, how to write a purpose stamen for our program, or how to develop lessons for our program, we actually did these things."

TRAININGS | SCHEDULE | ABOUT PEER RESOURCE TRAINING | IRA SACHNOFF | RESOURCES | CONTACT