Fort Dodge, MNW schools complete second year of All Stars program for sixth graders

Manson Northwest Webster and Fort Dodge’s sixth-graders participated in the All Stars program this school year.

Community and Family Resources and the Webster County Iowa Partnerships for Success Collaboration Council provided resources and support with funds from the Iowa Partnerships for Success Grant to implement the All Stars Core Curriculum.

All Stars is an evidence-based, research-based program that has been shown to prevent youth from taking part in risky behaviors like underage drinking, and it focuses on what research has shown to be the five most influential strategies to delay the onset of risky behavior:

• normative beliefs: personal belief that drug/alcohol use in not common or acceptable.

• idealism: having a vision/clear picture of the future.

• personal commitment: setting goals/intentions to keep them on path to a positive future.

• parent/adult attention: having supervision and encouragement to make good choices.

• bonding: feeling accepted or a sense of belonging at home/school.

All Stars is different from other substance abuse prevention programs in that it gives youth an opportunity to plan a future for themselves. All Stars also gives parents or caregivers the opportunity to talk with their child about what they want most for their future through four take-home assignments.

All Stars is designed to be implemented during a pivotal time for youth. During middle school, youth experience developmental changes resulting in a greater desire for belonging or “fitting in” among peers, and start to question and push for independence from parents and other authority figures.

According to the 2016 Iowa Youth Survey, 79 percent of Webster County sixth-graders report never having more than a few sips of alcohol. By eighth grade, this percentage is 69 percent and by 11th grade, it drops to 45 percent. The school decided to deliver the program in sixth grade, before most kids have started drinking, and close to the time when they may start experiencing peer pressure.

Community and Family Resources and the Webster County Collaboration Council are assisting the schools in conducting an evaluation of the program each year to measure the immediate and long-term impact of All Stars.

For more information on the IPFS Grant, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/substance-abuse/programs/ipfs

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