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You Can Choose Your Own Life is an interactive decision-making program for middle-school students between the ages of 10 and 14. The student workbook consists of five stories in which the student works through the problems encountered by the characters in each of the stories. The stories address the high risk problems our youth face--substance abuse, suicide, teenage pregnancy, school failure and drop-out, and emotional and behavioral disturbance. As students move through the various choices to be made at each decision point in the workbook's stories, they learn the consequences of each decision. At the conclusion of each sotry, students are given predictions about what might happen to an individual should he or she continue in the same pattern of decision making over a period of years.
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Today's young people in communities of all types, from rural farmlands to sophisticated urban centers, face a range of decisions that will affect their lives in serious ways. They also face them earlier in life and more independently than their parents had to do. Some of the decisions are classic--they must make choices about friends, dating, sports, school achievement, work, politics, money, religion, and family values. Other decisions young people must make, however, are more complex and relevant to a society different than that experienced by earlier generations. Chemical dependency, family instability and dysfunction, precocious sexuality, and sexually transmitted diseases are all issues today's young people must be prepared to address. These are the issues that their parents and teachers faced only as adults, if at all. It was the need to prepare our kids for such decisions that we developed the You Can Choose Your Own Life interactive decision making ! program. In decision-making workshops with many middle school students, we learned about the situations and problems that concern them. We chose five issues that we felt were important and engaging enough to capture the attention of the middle-school student--respect for authority, alcohol and drug abuse (including peer pressure), emotional and sexual intimacy, dysfunctional family life, and gang membership and the need to belong.About the Author:
Barbara Kerr Davis, Ph.D., is a writer and has taught English at the college level. She is the author of a novel, Letters To My Husband's Analyst, and a reference work, Read All Your Life: A Subject Guide to Fiction, which grew out of her enthusiasm for shared reading in book groups. Barbara is currently a consultant, trainer, and facilitator for colleges in the Seattle area. Barry Sommer is an educational psychologist, marriage, family and child therapist, and consultant in private practice in Visalia, California. Barry is the director of special education for the Pixley Union School District and has served as the prevention consultant to Visalia Unified School District and as facilitator of the Tulare County Delinquency Prevention Council and the City of Visalia Self-esteem Task Force. Training and consultation to schools, business, and health organizations balance his professional time.
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