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Early Risers “Skills for Success” – NREPP Summary

Early Risers “Skills for Success” – NREPP Summary

med_34624New NREPP Report on Early Risers “Skills for Success”:

Early Risers “Skills for Success” is a multicomponent, developmentally focused, competency-enhancement program that targets 6- to 12-year-old elementary school students who are at high risk for early development of conduct problems, including substance use. Early Risers is based on the premise that early, comprehensive, and sustained intervention is necessary to target multiple risk and protective factors. The program uses integrated child-, school-, and family-focused interventions, coordinated by a family advocate, to move high-risk children onto a more adaptive developmental pathway.

The child-focused component has three parts: summer camp, school year friendship groups, and school support. The summer camp consists of 24 hours each of social-emotional skills training, reading enrichment and motivation, and creative activities, all supported by behavioral management protocols to build and support social, emotional, problem-solving, and peer friendship skills. The social-emotional skills training is implemented using a program such as Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies (PATHS), Second Step, or Incredible Years, each of which was reviewed by NREPP separately. The school year friendship group is offered during or after school and promotes advancement and maintenance of skills learned over the summer. School support, which occurs throughout each school year during the school day, is intended to promote academic skill building, such as task organization and home-school communication, as well as to address children’s behavior while in school, through case management, consultation, and mentoring activities.

The family-focused component has two parts: family nights with parent education (called Parents Excited About Kids, or PEAK) and family support. At family nights, held in a center or school five times per year during the evening, children participate in fun activities while their parents meet in small groups for parenting-focused education and skills training. Family support involves the implementation of an individually designed case plan for each family to address its specific needs, strengths, and maladaptive patterns through goal setting, brief interventions, referrals to community supports, continuous monitoring, and, if indicated, more intensive and tailored parent skills training. The family advocate must have a bachelor’s degree in child or family education and experience working with parents or children.


Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Mental health promotion
Substance abuse prevention
Outcomes Review Date: July 2012
1: Social competence
2: Disciplinary practices
3: Behavioral self-regulation
4: School adjustment
5: Parenting stressReview Date: May 20071: Academic competence and achievement (performance and behaviors)
2: Behavioral self-regulation
3: Social competence
4: Parental investment in the child
5: Effective discipline
Outcome Categories Education
Social functioning
Ages 6-12 (Childhood)
26-55 (Adult)
Genders Male
Races/Ethnicities Black or African American
Race/ethnicity unspecified
Settings Home
Other community settings
Geographic Locations Urban
Rural and/or frontier
Implementation History Early Risers “Skills for Success” has been implemented in public schools since 1997. To date, approximately 1,700 families have received the intervention through collaborations with over 100 public schools, community and human service agencies, mental health collaboratives, and transitional housing units. Early Risers has been implemented in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: Yes
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: Yes
Adaptations The materials used for parent education and skills training, including the curriculum and parent handouts, are available in Spanish.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Selective

 For a complete summary visit: or download the  Report Pdf


About The Author(s)


Scott Carchedi is the founder and co-editor of SSWN. Scott provides technology support and consultative services to number of school social work associations throughout the US. Scott is also a practicing school social worker in the western suburbs of Chicago, serving grades 8-12.

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