Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Broward County School District: Passport to Peace

Passport to Peace is an educational program that aims to equip schools and parents with tools that (1) increase student achievement and pro-social behaviors, and (2) reduce childhood risk factors for developing one or more substance abuse or other behavioral health problem. The program focuses on developing better social and self-management skills (e.g., interpersonal problem-solving, communication, anger-management) by helping students capitalize on positive attributes, such as confidence, independence, commitment, cooperation, creativity, and empathy.

The program uses personal school-based “passports”—activity books (pre-Kindergarten through first grade) or planners (second through fifth grades). Students use these passports to  “travel” through the process of learning about important attitudes that reduce bullying and violence and promote healthy behaviors. Teachers cover a new attitude every three weeks, implementing classroom-based and school-wide activities, including modeling and role-playing, and facilitating informal discussions and peer-sharing. Students receive stamps in their passports for demonstrating the attitude of focus. Through integration with the school curriculum the program facilitates gradual and continuous learning.

With funding from SAMHSA’s Service to Science Subcontract to Build Evaluation Capacity of Evidence-based Interventions, program staff will (1) assess the extent to which Passport to Peace is implemented with consistency and fidelity in different schools, and (2) use a quasi-experimental research design to examine differences in pro-social behaviors, bullying behaviors, and perceptions of classroom climate between participating and non-participating students. Specifically, four schools will be selected (based on student demographics, including ethnicity, free- or reduced-lunch eligibility, and English as a Second Language designation) and assigned to one of two groups: “study” schools or “control” schools. Study schools will receive the Passport to Peace intervention; control schools will receive no intervention during the first year, but will begin the Passport to Peace intervention during the second year. Surveys of parents, students, and teachers will be conducted three times during the next school year (prior to any intervention and following each semester) to compare the two groups.

Contact

Ana Maria Leon
Guidance Counselor
Wilton Manors Elementary School
2401 NE 3rd Avenue
Wilton Manors, Florida 33305
Phone: (754) 322-8961
Email: ana.leon@browardschools.com