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Substance Misuse Prevention & Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Library Collection: Programs for Ages 3-5 (Pre-school/Kindergarten)


Interested in checking out any of these materials?

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Please visit the SERC Library Online Catalog or contact the SERC Librarians for your resource needs!


Functional Behavioral Assessment-based Interventions

Population: Elementary, Middle, and High School Students

Setting: Not Specified

Risk Factors Addressed: Problem behavior, school engagement, social-emotional development

Description: Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is an individualized problem-solving process for addressing student problem behavior. An assessment is conducted to identify the purpose or function of a student’s problem behavior. This assessment process involves collecting information about the environmental conditions that precede the problem behavior and the subsequent rewards that reinforce the behavior. The information that is gathered is then used to identify and implement individualized interventions aimed at reducing problem behaviors and increasing positive behaviors. Accordingly, the studies evaluating FBA examine different FBA-based interventions identified for each student. FBA-based interventions can be used to address diverse problem behaviors, such as disruptive and off-task behaviors,noncompliance, and inappropriate social interactions.

Michigan Model for Health

Population: Students aged 5 - 19

Setting: Home or School

Risk Factors Addressed: Lack of knowledge and skills associated with practicing and maintaining healthy behaviors

Description: The Michigan Model for Health is a comprehensive and sequential health education curriculum that aims to give students aged 5-19 years (grades K-12) the knowledge and skills needed to practice and maintain healthy behaviors and lifestyles. The intervention provides age-appropriate lessons that address issues commonly faced by students, including use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; prevention of HIV/AIDS; proper nutrition; physical activity; and other wellness and safety concerns. These 20- to 45-minute lessons are designed to be implemented by the classroom teacher, and they include extension ideas for core subjects such as language arts and social studies, as well as ways to use the intervention outside of the classroom. The intervention also provides information for parents regarding the content that students are learning in the classroom and suggestions for related activities that can be done at home. The Michigan Model for Health, which can be implemented in public, private, or alternative schools, facilitates learning and skill development through a variety of interactive teaching and learning techniques, including demonstration and guided practice.

Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) - Preschool

Population: Children in elementary school or preschool

Setting: Schools

Risk Factors Addressed: Behavior problems, impulsivity

Description: Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies (PATHS) and PATHS Preschool are school-based preventive interventions for children in elementary school or preschool. The interventions are designed to enhance areas of social-emotional development such as self-control, self-esteem, emotional awareness, social skills, friendships, and interpersonal problem-solving skills while reducing aggression and other behavior problems. Skill concepts are presented through direct instruction, discussion, modeling, storytelling, role-playing activities, and video presentations. The elementary school PATHS Curriculum is available in two units: the PATHS Turtle Unit for kindergarten and the PATHS Basic Kit for grades 1-6. The curriculum includes 131 20- to 30-minute lessons designed to be taught by regular classroom teachers approximately 3 times per week over the course of a school year. PATHS Preschool, an adaptation of PATHS for children 3 to 5 years old, is designed to be implemented over a 2-year period. Its lessons and activities highlight writing, reading, storytelling, singing, drawing, science, and math concepts and help students build the critical cognitive skills necessary for school readiness and academic success. The PATHS Preschool program can be integrated into existing learning environments and adapted to suit individual classroom needs.

Second Step

Population: Children ages 4 - 14

Setting: School

Risk Factors Addressed: Impulsivity, aggressive behavior, bullying

Description: Second Step is a classroom-based social-skills program for children 4 to 14 years of age that teaches socioemotional skills aimed at reducing impulsive and aggressive behavior while increasing social competence. The program consists of in-school curricula, parent training, and skill development. Second Step teaches children to identify and understand their own and others' emotions, reduce impulsiveness and choose positive goals, and manage their emotional reactions and decision-making process when emotionally aroused. The curriculum is divided into two age groups: preschool through 5th grade (with 20 to 25 lessons per year) and 6th through 9th grade (with 15 lessons in year 1 and 8 lessons in the following 2 years). Each curriculum contains five teaching kits that build sequentially and cover empathy, impulse control, and anger management in developmentally and age-appropriate ways. Group decision-making, modeling, coaching, and practice are demonstrated in the Second Step lessons using interpersonal situations presented in photos or video format.

** The SERC Library offers access to the Grade 1-5 bundle as well as the Grade 7 and Grade 8 kits.**

Caring School Community

Population: Children in grades K-6

Setting: School or Classroom

Risk Factors Addressed: Academic failure, delinquency, and school climate

Description: The Caring School Community (CSC) program is a school-reform program for grades K–6 that seeks to build classroom and schoolwide community and promote students’ social-emotional learning (SEL) skills and competencies. This is done through the four components of the CSC program which include class meetings, cross-age buddies, homeside activities, and schoolwide community-building activities. Classroom teachers learn strategies for strengthening students’ school connectedness, academic motivation, and academic achievement; and for lowering students’ risk for violence and delinquency. The CSC approach emphasizes the integration of individual, communal, cognitive, and social-emotional elements within the academic setting.

Additional Resources:

Healthy Alternatives for Little Ones (HALO)

Population: Children ages 3-6

Setting: School

Risk Factors Addressed: Making unhealthy choices

Description: Healthy Alternatives for Little Ones (HALO) is a 12-unit holistic health and substance abuse prevention curriculum for children ages 3-6 in child care settings. HALO is designed to address risk and protective factors for substance abuse and other health behaviors by providing children with information on healthy choices. The program aims to help children understand the complexities of "health" and "healthy choices" by putting these abstract concepts into concrete terms they can understand. In HALO, health is defined as "growing bigger, stronger, and better able to think." The curriculum encourages healthy eating, exercise, and emotion recognition and educates children about the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD) on the body. HALO provides learning opportunities for children through teacher-led, developmentally appropriate, and fun hands-on activities that involve educational songs, videos, group activities, and books. Parental involvement is facilitated through introductory and unit-specific letters that encourage at-home discussion and the practice of identifying and making healthy choices.


Population: Students grades K - 5 (with a separate program for teens)

Setting: School

Risk Factors Addressed: Aggression, violence

Description: PeaceBuilders is a schoolwide violence prevention program for elementary schools (grades K-5) with a corresponding teen-centered PeacePack program. PeaceBuilders attempts to create a positive school climate by developing positive relationships between students and school staff; directly teaching nonviolent attitudes, values, and beliefs; and providing incentives for young people to display these behaviors at school, in the community, and at home. PeaceBuilders introduces a common language to a school centered on six principles: praise people; avoid put-downs; seek wise people as advisers and friends; notice and correct hurts we cause; right wrongs; and help others. Activities and rewards designed to teach and encourage these "peace-building" behaviors are woven into the school's everyday routine with the participation of all staff in the school, including teachers, classroom aides, administrators, librarians, nurses, playground monitors, and any others who regularly interact with students. Targeted outcomes include improved social competence, more frequent positive and prosocial behavior, and reduced aggression.


Population: Pre K through Grade 2 students

Setting: School or Classroom

Risk Factors Addressed: defiance, conflicts with peers, and disruptive behaviors

Description: FIRST STEP Next is a collaborative home and school intervention for preschool through second grade. The teacher, family member, and behavioral coach (for example, school counselor, early childhood educator, or behavioral specialist) teach the at-risk child skills that contribute to school success and the development of friendships.  The coach works one-on-one with the focus student to teach the following school success skills: Follow Directions, Be Safe, Ask for Attention the Right Way, Be a Team Player, Do Your Best, Be Cool, and Mistakes Are Okay.

I Can Problem Solve (ICPS)

Population: Children ages 4-12

Setting: School

Risk Factors Addressed: Impulsivity, social withdrawal, early aggression

Description: I Can Problem Solve (ICPS) is a school-based program that focuses on enhancing the interpersonal cognitive processes and problem-solving skills of children ages 4-12. Rather than addressing specific behaviors as right or wrong, ICPS uses games, stories, puppets, illustrations, and role-plays to help children acquire a problem-solving vocabulary, learn to understand their own as well as others' feelings, think of alternative solutions, and think of potential consequences to an act. In turn, ICPS aims to prevent and reduce early high-risk behaviors, such as impulsivity and social withdrawal, and promote prosocial behaviors, such as concern for others and positive peer relationships. A key principle of the program is that the child, not the teacher, must solve the problem at hand. Giving the child this responsibility allows the child to develop the habit of creating solutions to problems, considering the potential consequences of one's actions, and thinking for oneself.

The Incredible Years

Population: Children ages 3 - 8

Setting: School

Risk Factors Addressed: social-emotional challenges, it is the long term goal of the series is to prevent delinquency, drug abuse, and violence.

Description: The Classroom Dinosaur Curriculum is used by teachers as a prevention program for an entire classroom of students. The curriculum is delivered 2-3 times a week by teachers in the classroom in 20-30 minute circle time lessons, followed by small group practice activities and promotion of skills throughout the school day. The program includes letters for teachers to send home with suggested activities parents can do with their children to reinforce the classroom learning and promote parent involvement in classroom learning. The program includes lesson plans for 3 “levels” so that teachers can choose lessons based on children’s developmental age (Level 1: ages 3-5, Level 2: ages 5-6, Level 3: ages 7-8). The program includes the following topics:

  • Apatosaurus Unit 1: Wally & Dina Teach About School Rules
  • Iguanodon Unit 2: Dina Teaches About Doing Your Best in School
  • Triceratops Unit 3: Wally Teaches About Understanding & Detective Feelings
  • Stegosaurus Unit 4: Wally Teaches How to Problem Solve
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex Unit 5: Tiny Turtle Teaches Anger Management
  • Allosaurus Unit 6: Molly Teaches How to be Friendly
  • Brachiosaurus Unit 7: Molly Explains How to Talk with Friends

Too Good for Violence (TGFV)

Population: Kindergarten through 12th-grade students

Setting: School

Risk Factors Addressed: Peer pressure, ineffective communication skills, violent/aggressive behavior

Description: Too Good for Violence (TGFV) is a school-based violence prevention and character education program designed to improve student behavior and minimize aggression. TGFV is designed to help students in kindergarten through 8th grade learn the skills they need to get along peacefully with others. The high school version, called Too Good for Drugs and Violence-High School, is available and contains substance-abuse prevention components. In both content and teaching methods, the program addresses students' positive attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. It teaches skills sequentially and at each grade level provides developmentally appropriate curricula designed to address risk and protective factors.

The program consists of seven 30- to 60-minute age-appropriate lessons, for kindergarten through fifth grade, and nine 30- to 45-minute lessons, for sixth through eighth grade. The program’s interactive teaching methods encourage students to bond with prosocial peers and engage students by using games, role-playing, small-group activities, cooperative learning, and class discussions. The curriculum emphasizes developing interpersonal skills for conflict resolution and resistance skills to avoid substance use. TGFV teaches that each student has what it takes to solve conflicts peaceably and provides opportunities to practice peacemaking and antibullying skills. The program includes components to involve families and the entire school. The family component includes newsletters and an interactive homework assignment.