Challenges, Beliefs and Changes Program

Who this program is for:

CBC is a peer education program delivered by senior high school students to address decisions about alcohol and other drugs and assist the transition to high school for students in grade 8 or grade 9.

What this program is about:

CBC is a program to promote choices and decision-making about alcohol and other drugs and support successful transitions from Grade 8 to Grade 9 through a peer education approach.  Parent Action on Drugs initiated its first peer education program on substance use and abuse in 1985 in a single high school in Scarborough, Ontario.  Now in its 27th year of delivery, it is the longest, continuously running, peer-delivered program on drug education for youth in Ontario, and likely in Canada.  An evaluation study of CBC found the program proved effective in increasing knowledge, correcting misconceptions about high school drug use and increasing resistance skills amongst the younger students.

As of 2012 we have:

  • Worked with 235 different schools throughout the province
  • Delivered 450 training sessions,
    • each involving an average of 20 peer educators
    • at an average of 20 schools/ year
  • trained 9,000 peer educators in a comprehensive workshop, typically lasting two full days
  • reached over 60,000 grade 8 or 9 students in a comprehensive 3-hour program.

 

Program Structure

The CBC program has a defined curriculum and provides a comprehensive manual to each peer educator.  The program allows for peer leaders to share their own experiences and emphasize the substance misuse prevention information and experiences that are most relevant to them and their school communities. The curriculum has a variety of activities to engage the younger peers, increase skills and knowledge, explore attitudes and choices as well as promote health and safety.  The workshop delivered by the peer educators includes:

  • the opportunity to encounter senior peers who have experienced social changes similar to those facing the younger teenagers;
  • small group problem-solving activities based on profiles of realistic teen stressors
  • active discussions and fun activities which encourage reflection on own attitudes and beliefs about teenage smoking,  drinking and the use of other drugs;
  • activities to correct misconceptions about substance use and present correct information; and
  • the chance to compare what the younger teens expect of high school social life and friendships with the real experiences of the leaders.

 

Program Options

  • CBC  has been developed to promote the successful transition of students to high school and can be offered to students in grade 8 or grade 9
  • There is a program menu of 10 core and optional activities for a total of approximately 3 hours of workshop delivery
  • From the menu, a program can be chosen to fit the time constraints and unique needs of the high school peer educators and the target audience of younger students   

 

Peer Leader Training

  • The two-day training program focuses on leadership and group management techniques, communication and refusal skills, personal attitudes clarification, and information about tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, prescription and other drugs.
  • Peer leaders report that the training program is interesting and enjoyable, advances their self-awareness and knowledge of drugs, and prepares them for their challenging task.
  • A comprehensive manual is given to each peer leader.
  • Peer leaders can be drawn from volunteer extra-curricular groups, selected based on leadership potential or staff assessments or as part of in-class requirements in physical education, leadership and peer support and other subject area.

 

What is Required From High Schools

  • Selection of peer leaders
  • Co-ordination of training event  and arranging the peer-led instruction
  • Follow up preparation and debriefing with peer educator teams
  • Liaison with the grade eight or nine teachers

 

For Program Infomation

PAD is able to provide peer leader training workshops and manuals free of charge to participating schools.  To learn more, please contact our office.

Program Testimonials

  • “I had an awesome time. Thank you!” – Peer leader
  • “You did a great job, there wasn’t anything I didn’t find useful.” – Peer leader
  • “Health can be fun if it is taught by awesome people.” – Youth participant
  • “If you can make grade 12 boys think again about drugs, you can reach the grade 9’s for sure.” – Peer leader
  • “I couldn’t believe these were the same kids. I watched them get up in front of the grade 8’s and present an amazing workshop. The younger students were glued to their older peers information!” – Guidance Teacher, York Region District School Board
  • “Thanks for coming and for providing inspiration to empower youth to make informed choices and become leaders in their schools.”– Teacher, Bishop Strachan School, Toronto