Reducing barriers to learning with Communities That Care

J. David Hawkins, Margaret Kuklinski, and Abigail Fagan describe an effective approach for preventing some of the problems that can stand in the way of achievement and engagement in school

EDUCATORS WANT STUDENTS TO COME TO school ready and motivated to learn, yet they are all too familiar with barriers to engagement and achievement. Many risks threaten today’s youth and can lead to other problems, like substance abuse and delinquency, which themselves jeopardize students’ ability to succeed. Communities That Care (CTC) is a community-based prevention system designed to reduce risks affecting students and increase positive influences, with the overall aim of fostering healthy development.

What we know
● Problem behaviors, like substance abuse and delinquent behavior, are barriers to learning.
● They increase risk for school disengagement and failure.
● Communities That Care (CTC) provides educators and other stakeholders with tools and skills for reducing barriers to learning.
● Communities using CTC select evidence-based school and community prevention programs to reduce community-specific risks and problem behaviors.
● CTC effectively prevents alcohol and tobacco use and delinquent behavior in young people.

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February 2012