Life On Point is based on the following proven and unique framework:
1. Addresses risks as a group -- Because risks cluster, the curriculum will examine a wide array of risks, including the most prevalent discovered through focus group research: sex, drugs, violence, drinking, and body image.
2. Promotes positive Developmental Assets® -- We will prevent these behaviors by affecting the “root” factors (risk and protective) that influence decision-making. Research from Search Institute®clearly demonstrates that children who possess more positive assets such as support, attachment to learning, vision, and constructive use of time are significantly less likely to get involved in sex, substance abuse, violence and truancy. They are also more likely to possess positive attitudes and behaviors. (Develomental Assets® 2011) Therefore, the Life On Point content builds protective factors within the following units:
• Life Vision, Life Skills
• Healthy Life Choices
• Positive Support
• Leadership for Service
3. Builds vital connections to peers and adults – Relationships are the key to producing life change, so the curriculum is developed for small groups, led by an adult facilitator. Because successful Life groups grow quickly, with peers influencing one another, adaptable activities are for large and small group settings.
4. Provides a teen-centered framework – Effective youth programs address the unique and changing needs of the small group. Unlike most curricula which are linear (having specific lessons which must be taught in a specific order) Life On Point recommends creating your own curriculum map based on your participants' specific needs.
5. Promotes community involvement – It should not take an expert to build assets into the lives of kids. Research shows a direct link between youth who exhibit positive behaviors and the number of positive adults, outside of their family, investing in their lives. Therefore, Life On Point will incorporate the knowledge needed to build healthy teens into a user-friendly, lay volunteer model – usable in all settings.
6. Uses a “brain-based” approach – It is critical to understand the powerful truths behind adolescent brain development. The curriculum will include a psychosocial approach to teen risk-taking, addictions, emotions and critical thinking skills. To engage the teenage learning styles, Life On Point will use role-play, hands-on activities, personal reflection, experiential learning, group discussion and media.
7. Fosters positive peer belonging and a sense of identity -- Erikson's PychoSocial Stages of Development teach that an adolescent’s task is to develop a sense of identity while achieving emotional independence. Teens thus begin separating from parents and toward peers. Belonging to a group is supremely important and peer pressure is often more highly prioritized than parental influence. Teen groups are often naturally quite cohesive and involve intimacy. Teens often prefer groups with common speech and dress, and loyalty to the group is often protected by the members. Therefore, utilizing teens' need to resolve the conflict of identity by providing teens a safe place to belong with other like-minded young adults as they explore and develop their identity is key to the success of Life On Point.