Who this program is for:
Get Ready is a program for Grade Six students delivered as part of a drug education curriculum. The program uses a peer education model, allowing younger students to learn from information presented by slightly older students and the experiences they have had. Under the leadership of a health/education professional, the Get Ready peer educators provide information about the drugs that the younger students are likely to encounter in the next few years, and answer questions grade 6 students have about becoming a teenager and the decisions they make.
What this program is about:
Get Ready is a developmentally appropriate program which aims to increase the readiness skills of 11-12 year-olds to make decisions about the substances that they are likely to encounter as they prepare to transition to their teens. The program is a combination of providing factual information, checking out opinions and attitudes and developing the skills and confidence to respond in a way that will work well for each young person.
The Get Ready program is built around the four R’s of drug education;
- Present information that is Reliable
- Focus on substance that Relevant for students at this stage of their lives
- Discuss situations that are Realistic for students of this age
- Help students be Resilient by encouraging their confidence and access to supportive adults and positive peers
The Grade Six Target Audience:
The workshop is geared to a student audience that is at a pre-contemplative stage concerning substance use, but is nearing the age when drug use data show that experimentation with selected drugs begins. At that stage they begin to receive unreliable information from their peers about alcohol and other drugs and be included in the target audience for marketing messages about energy drinks and alcohol.
Substance Misuse Prevention Information:
GET READY focuses on those substances for which there is an established pattern of use for students in grades 7 and 8:
- Alcohol: By grade 8 about a quarter of Grade 8 students have at least one drink of alcohol
- Cannabis: By grade 8 7% of Grade 8 students have used marijuana
- Prescription pain relievers: Almost 9% of students in Grades 7 and 8 report using prescription pain reliever non-medically
- OTC Cough or Cold Medication: About 10% of students in Grades 7 and 8 report using cough or cold medicine in order to get high
- High caffeine energy drinks: About a quarter of students in Grade 7 and a third of students in Grade 8 report drinking a high-caffeine energy drink
The Role of the Peer Educator in the Get Ready Program:
The Get Ready program is designed to be delivered by a team of slightly older peer leaders with assistance from an adult professional, such as a public health professional. Peer educators are selected either from a Grade 8 or Grade 9 classroom and participate in a one day training workshop where they gain substance use information, examine attitudes, opinions and experiences, learn about providing a safe learning environment and gain practice with the activities and messages in the GET READY workshop they will deliver to the younger students.
The GET READY activities:
There is a menu of activities for the GET READY program which can be selected according to a time allotment and the target audience. Each activity has been tested and shown to be engaging and lead to increased knowledge among the students. Each activity has a peer sharing component to make the most of the peer educators’ involvement in delivering the workshop.
For program information: