Early in 2017, I contacted Rainbow Days about their curriculum and to schedule a training day for my team, and myself. The customer service I received while gathering the information I needed, as well as the ease of scheduling the training, was top notch. The day of the training, I was greatly impressed with the professionalism and expertise of the trainer. We began program implementation, in the Spring of 2017, at the Youth Shelter, and have served 150+ youth, with the Kids’ Connection, Too curriculum. We originally chose Curriculum Based Support Group (CBSG®) because of the small group setting, and the fact that the program outcomes not only include reducing substance abuse, but the program also addresses the social emotional needs, of our program participants. Our CBSG program is called “Living Out Loud” and is something that program participants look forward to, on a weekly basis, and one of the favorite programs that our staff, have ever facilitated.
The Next Step program at LifeWorks has been implementing the CBSG® Program since the mid-1990s. We initially chose CBSG® (Kids’ Connection and Youth Connection) because it is an evidence-based program that is based on a strong logic model. The program is designed for a wide range of ages and developmental levels, which has been helpful during the summer months when we implement the curricula at summer camps and not with specific school grade levels. We were searching for curricula that focused on building social-emotional, self-identity, and self-competency skills as well as building a sense of community among the group participants. In addition, we wanted a curriculum that wove in substance use prevention discussion questions and information to help youth to make healthy choices regarding substance use. CBSG® successfully meets all of these needs. The wide range of session topics has made it attractive to both schools and summer sites, who indicate the topics and content are relevant to their children and youth and invite us back to provide the curricula again and again. The intentional process flow for each session – Sun and Cloud, review, discussion, activity, and closing – has provided a sense of predictability and security for the youth with whom we work. The emphasis on the role of the caring adult facilitator(s) in the group dynamics is another critically important feature of the program. Having a specific message for each session topic and closing each group with the overall message of I am, I can, I have, I will, I believe is a powerful component of CBSG®. On top of all this, Rainbow Days provides excellent facilitator training and ongoing support for curriculum delivery. We have continued to implement CBSG® over the years because we have not found another curricula that meets the needs of the youth and the communities where we work as well as CBSG®. I highly recommend CBSG® and Rainbow Days/Trans4m Center.