Description of FOOTPRINTS for LIFE

FOOTPRINTS for LIFETM includes a family component with weekly assignments to be supervised by a parent/guardian. The assignments introduce effective language and techniques for communicating about feelings and problems. Parents/guardians as well as classroom teachers are strongly encouraged to promote the use of this language to reinforce the value of the program and its concepts around healthy decision-making and peaceful conflict resolution.

Each of the five characters in the stories has unique footprints and personalities as well as family situations. Each comes to learn how to become more self-aware and consider the consequences of their actions. They demonstrate an increased appreciation and understanding of their friends and realize the positive power of healthy problem solving such as coping instead of moping.

Lessons include practical skills to manage anger and the use of the Solution Stoplight™ for effective conflict resolution. These strategies are proven to build self-confidence and positive social emotional development. The information on tobacco and alcohol is age appropriate, woven within the broader themes of decision-making and seeking help from caring and supportive adults when confronted with situations for which the child feels inadequate or fearful.

For Parents

We have collected some useful resources that you may find helpful.  Some of the websites listed are specific to children, therefore you may want to share these sites with your children.
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FOOTPRINTS for LIFETM is a research-based, primary prevention program that builds assets and teaches important life skills to students in grades two and three.

Through the use of puppets and stories that feature “real-life” situations experienced by a children’s soccer team, the program offers many opportunities for students to practice the new skills they have learned in a fun and non-threatening way.
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Each lesson has a follow-up homework assignment that children are given in school. These worksheets are included here so that parents and children can work on them together.
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What parents are saying.

“He has seen that people do have choices and that bad choices have consequences.” “As we did homework assignments, we discussed lessons learned and referred to times in the past and present how Footprints for Life could be applied. Awesome program. I hope to see it continued in the future years of my child’s education.” “He is improving his anger management.” “I have noticed a higher degree of self-confidence.” “I think it helped with situations with siblings and friends.” “She is more understanding of other people’s points of view.”

John Doe

The Stories

Through the use of puppets and stories that feature real-life situations experienced by a children's soccer team, the Footprints for Life program offers many opportunities for students to practice the new skills they have learned in a fun and non-threatening way.  Below are the stories for each lesson that will be shared with the children during the program.
Lesson 1

Coach Katrina Kangaroo recently came back home to go to community college.  She had lost her athletic scholarship at a university because she was abusing alcohol and cigarettes.  She has volunteered to coach a group of local kids in the second and third grade.  Today is the first day of practice.  Returning players are Sarina Fox, who is bragging about how her dad took off from an important meeting to watch her practice, and Betsy Beaver, who is known to be a great goalie and very kind.  Betsy introduces her younger cousin, Ricardo Raccoon, who is now living with her because his dad died in an accident.  Pete Porcupine is also new.  He feels nervous and upset because his mom forgot to drive him to practice.  Pete gets agitated easily and overreacts when Sarina hogs the ball.  Coach Katrina sees the team struggling.  She teaches Pete and the other players about feelings and demonstrates how to use an “I” message.  As each of the characters tells a little about themselves, they come to appreciate their unique personalities and family situations.  Soon the whole team begins to share their feelings and learn more about each other.

Lesson 4

Sarina Fox is seen smoking a cigarette by Betsy Beaver, Ricardo Raccoon, and Pete Porcupine.  Sarina thinks she looks cool.  Everyone else is upset with her, and they begin to question her about why she is smoking.  Pete shares that he wants his mother to stop, and she gets mad when he tells her to.  Sarina responds that her Dad smokes and she can’t understand why she can’t.  Coach Katrina Kangaroo comes along and explains that laws are set up to guide people to make healthy choices and protect their young, growing bodies and brains.  She shows them some of the ingredients in tobacco smoke.  Everyone is shocked.  Finally, she tells her story of wanting to fit in, and how she lost her scholarship because she chose to start smoking and use alcohol.  She teaches the team about legal and illegal drugs.  Katrina also explains that you must be careful using some household chemicals, as well as medicines.  These chemicals, called drugs, affect your body and brain. She tells the team about how advertisers try to trick you into using tobacco and alcohol to make money.  Sarina decides to do her science project on smoking tobacco.  She’ll call it Truth and Consequences.

Footprints for Life is specifically designed to build students’ social competencies, which include planning and decision-making skills, interpersonal skills, peaceful conflict resolution skills, cultural competence skills, and resistance skills.

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