Discovering Options helps at-risk children avoid drug use and other self-destructive behaviors through individual student support and evidence-based, substance abuse prevention programming which encourages family involvement. Programming occurs during those hours immediately following school.
Many of the students in the City of Saint Louis are at risk. At school and at home, the predictors for drug abuse and other self-destructive behaviors are unavoidable. Poverty, family conflict, a lack of commitment to school, behavior problems, and neighborhoods where drugs are easily accessible are all factors that put children in Saint Louis at risk for school drop out, violence and abusing drugs and/or alcohol.
The effectiveness of our intervention is verified by research conducted in 2009 by the Missouri Institute of Mental Health. The results of this evaluation were published in the Spring 2012 School Social Work Journal and is available under the awards tab on this website.
On January 31, 2011, the Principal of Lexington Elementary School, Ms. Barbara Anderson, shared her view of Discovering Options with our staff. In summary: Ms. Anderson knows the PREP program well and has been working with Discovering Options team members for the last five years. She is always sad to lose PREP at the end of the session, and is thrilled when PREP returns to Lexington. She reported being very pleased with the successes she has seen, and has noticed amazing changes in the children that complete the program. “Mentoring is very popular and all of the children look forward to it.”
On February 7, 2011, the Principal of Herzog Elementary School, Ms. Deirdre Jackson, shared her thoughts about PREP. In summary: Ms. Jackson says her students who participate in PREP seem calmer and are less likely to allow themselves to be provoked. The students are also more positive and have a greater feeling of self confidence. “PREP is a very positive program and it is well structured. Kids get picked up from school and dropped off at their doors so there are no safety issues.” “PREP will be something the kids always remember and will have a lasting impact on them.”