The purpose of this proposal is to promote healthy development and enhance resiliency and prevent violence and substance abuse through use of science-based resiliency programs and strategies beginning in Tucson's schools but ultimately developing into a community-wide movement to build resiliency in youth. This effort will link with an ongoing resiliency effort initiated by the Mayor's School District Action Task Force in Spring 1998. The Task Force comprises representatives from the major school districts in the Tucson area, law enforcement, mental health agencies and other public and private agencies serving youth, and has a 7 year history of creating and implementing innovative programs for youth (i.e. Family Wellness Centers and high school completion programs).
This is a grassroots effort based on Nan Henderson's environmentally focused resiliency-building model. Schools elect to participate in a training of trainers by Henderson, with a commitment to develop a school-wide plan and implement exemplary resiliency strategies and/or programs based on Henderson's six-part model of reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors. This proposed project will provide several levels of support to three waves of schools (a total of 27) that will participate in the Task Force effort in the next two years. School teams from Wave 1 will be used as trainers and provide support for additional schools, enhancing this project's sustainability. In addition, School Resource Officers, City of Tucson Neighborhood Enhancement Teams and other citywide service providers will be among the first trained in Henderson's model, offering additional support.
The initiative will begin with schools and then expand to involve and mobilize the entire Tucson community in building a web of support for youth.
The Technology of Development model of consensus-building developed by William Lofquist will be used to help school teams and, later, other community members, evaluate current conditions and determine a course of action suited to each school's particular strengths, needs and population. Schools will choose from a menu of exemplary programs to ensure buy-in and that programs fit their specific needs.
The following support activities will be coordinated through this grant: 1) training in a resiliency model, 2) training in a consensus building process, 3) support and coaching for implementation of the consensus building process to design a plan to develop resiliency based programming, and 4) information about exemplary practices and new research related to issues of resiliency to be channeled to schools via newsletters and the Internet. A media campaign, conferences and action-group meetings, and other efforts to mobilize the community also will be undertaken later in the project.
A process evaluation will monitor the consensus building and planning process and track the implementation of exemplary programs and strategies in the schools who choose to participate in this grass roots effort.