Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association: The Curriculum of Educational Athletics

The Curriculum of Educational Athletics provides a variety of resources to help students at Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s member schools make educated decisions that lead to healthy lifestyles. The program offers an array of workshops and conferences that enable students to build connections to their schools, teams, and communities—learning values such as discipline, performance under stress, teamwork, sacrifice, commitment, accountability, leadership, and health and well-being. These workshops and conferences also provide an opportunity for students to interact with peers from other districts across the state and learn about strategies for promoting safe and fun substance-free events in their communities. Curriculum components include:

  • Leadership Training Institute: Trains adults to take advantage of opportunities within athletics and school activities to prevent substance abuse, promote positive sportsmanship, and develop student leadership initiatives
  • Coaching for Prevention: Helps coaches and other school leaders to help student athletes and their parents prevent substance use problems, promote good sportsmanship, and become better citizens
  • The Leadership Edge - A Workshop for Student and Adult Leaders: Encourages student and adult leaders to use their influence to help others to make positive, substance-free choices
  • YOU LEAD (Youth Leading Everywhere Abstaining from Drugs) Program: Provides activities that increase leadership skills, reinforce positive problem-solving and decision-making, and empower students to make healthy life-style choices
  • Captains Workshops: Offer activities to enhance student leadership, reinforce sportsmanship and respect, and prevent bullying, hazing, harassment, and substance abuse
  • Wellness Workshop Series and Wellness Summit: Provides professional development training, highlights best practices, and showcases presenters and resources focusing on underage substance abuse prevention available for attendees to take back to their schools
  • New England Student Leadership Conference:  Provides workshops and activities related to implementing school-based action plans to foster leadership, teamwork, and healthy lifestyles

With funding from SAMHSA’s Service to Science Subcontract to Build Evaluation Capacity of Evidence-Based Interventions, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association will take additional steps to measure the effectiveness of The Curriculum of Educational Athletics program. Specific objectives include hiring an evaluator, developing and testing evaluation tools and outcome measures, designing and beginning the implementation of a longer-term study of effectiveness, and working with an Institutional Review Board to ensure that measurement tools and evaluation design meet accepted standards.


Karen Nardone
Wellness Director
Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association
33 Forge Parkway
Franklin, Massachusetts 02038
Phone: (508) 541-7997