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Prosocial clubs are made up of students with a common interest, are advised by a faculty member and meet regularly. These co-curricular groups can be any club, organization or activity that provides an opportunity for youth to engage in positive activities outside the classroom. Included under this definition are academic clubs, the arts, prevention based clubs, humanities, leadership and athletic organizations.
Broward County Schools advocates prosocial clubs because they benefit the student and the community through building self-esteem, civic engagement and student’s connection to school and others with similar interests. These factors protect against the development of conduct problems, school misbehavior, truancy, and drug abuse. Prosocial clubs benefit the students and the community by building self-esteem, civic engagement, and human connection. Below are a few of the clubs we support.
Why Prosocial Clubs?
Research has shown that students who participate in prosocial clubs:
- Report at least 95% profoundly benefited from the experience.
- Produce a 2% increase in standardized test scores with scores continuing to climb with an increase in student participation.
- Increase volunteerism and voting as well as connection to community and county.
- Decrease their drop-out-rate, substance abuse, sexual activity, suicide, and other risky behaviors.
The Best Clubs Use Positive Community Norms & Social Norms
Social norms marketing is based on the theory that people’s behavior is influenced by their perceptions of how they think others are “normally” or “typically” behaving. The social norms approach is defined by H. Wesley Perkins, PhD (2003) as a proactive prevention program that communicates "the truth about peer norms in terms of what the majority of students actually think and do, all on the basis of credible data drawn from the student population”. Research shows that people’s behavior follows what they think the majority of others are doing. Marketing positive social norms informs students that the majority of their peers behave in health ways and do NOT smoke, drink alcohol, drink and drive. This marketing of accurate healthy norms increases the healthy behaviors.
Positive Community Norms (PCN) is the natural next step to social norms; it’s an approach to improving health and safety in our communities. PCN is an evidence-based approach that promotes protective factors, increases healthy norms, and changes community cultures on issues including substance use, traffic safety, child maltreatment, youth suicide, and more.
BCPS uses PCN to design and implement powerful communications campaigns targeting our entire population to shift perceptions, attitudes, and in turn, increase healthy positive behaviors. Our campaigns increase accurate information amongst students, parents, and teachers using posters, flyers, and public service announcements. The campaigns share data and highlight solutions, magnifying wellness by focusing on the majority who do the ‘right’ thing and how they chose to do so. Our pro-social clubs also use PCN to share peer data in many areas of prevention such as smoking tobacco, vaping, alcohol (see Project Brain webpage ), driving and texting, sexual activity, drug use, violence, and bullying. Examples of BCPS Customer Survey data a PCN campaign might share could be:
- Did you know although only 20% of students believe 80% of students don’t drink, in reality 94% of students didn’t drink alcohol last 30 days?
- 8 out of 10 students believe drinking alcohol is bad for your brain, and most know their brain isn’t fully developed until 25 years of age.
- 96% of students haven’t used an electronic vapor product during the past 30 days
Project BRAIN is a Social Norms campaign facilitated by our department in numerous Broward County schools, grades 6-12. The Project BRAIN health campaign empowers youth to prevent or reduce alcohol consumption. Through the research based social norms approach, a change in perception toward alcohol is created resulting in a change in behavior. Find out more on Project Brain.
Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Elementary Clubs
SAVE Promise Club is a student leadership initiative for BCPS elementary schools from Sandy Hook Promise that aims to cultivate and bolster student leaders to take an active role in increasing school safety and preventing different forms of violence in schools and communities. Learn more here.
Human Relation Councils
The School Board of Broward County established Human Relation Councils in October 1999. They are based in secondary schools and centers. Broward is one of the most diverse counties in the nation. The HRC’s have become key mechanisms for the training of students and staff in diversity sensitivity, cultural competence and affording students an opportunity to foster greater intercultural relations and understanding.
Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Clubs
Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Clubs are student clubs that allow students with a common interest to get together and have events or discussions about that interest. GSA clubs are made up of students of any sexual orientation; in fact many GSA members are straight-identifying youth. In these clubs, students can talk and learn about issues that surround sexual orientation and gender identity.
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) provides students grades 6-12 with prevention tools possible to deal with the issues of underage drinking, other drug use, risky and impaired driving, and other destructive decisions. Find out more at floridasadd.org.
Drug Free Youth In Town’s (DFYIT)
Drug Free Youth In Town’s (DFYIT) mission is to support the development of healthy, productive, drug-free youth. They do this by providing drug information, as well as opportunities to learn leadership skills through community service activities and educational (and fun!) field trips for middle and high school students between the ages of 10 and 18.
Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT)
Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is the name of youth clubs in Broward’s middle and high schools to address the alleged manipulation and targeting of youth by tobacco companies.
Find out more at swatflorida.com.