COUNTRY: UNITED STATES
Developer: The Wheel Council
Partners: Funding from the Unites States Department of Health and Human Services; US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Program Overview: The Storytelling for Empowerment program aimed to decrease alcohol consumption and marijuana use among middle school students ages 11-15.
Program Design: This program uses storytelling and art for emotional expression, in an attempt to create a positive peer group and to enhance cultural identities. Students participating in the program met during lunch and after school. The curriculum included 27 lessons which included a variety of interactive games and exercises, and other tasks. Students are given a book to accompany lessons.
Evaluation: Students in 6-8 grade from two middle schools volunteered to participate in the program, and a third school in the same district served as a control. Data were collected at baseline and again one year later.
Key findings: Evaluation tracked results from two cohorts, which showed slightly different results.
- One cohort demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in the reported number of days in past month that alcohol was consumed (and marijuana used)
- Both cohorts showed statistically significant decreases in the use of illicit drugs
Program Website: wheelcouncil.org
1. Nelson, A. & Arthur, B. (2003). Storytelling for empowerment: Decreasing at-risk youth's alcohol and marijuana use. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 24(2), 169-180.
Target Audience: Middle school (10-14 years)
Issues: Underage Drinking
Setting: Extra-curricular clubs or organizations, Schools
Approach: Life Skills