FOCUS

More About Our Program

Why We Are Here

Credible research indicates that alarming proportions of young people engage in behaviors which put them at risk for serious health problems. FOCUS addresses the adolescent risk behaviors identified in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

FOCUS promotes school and community partnerships for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other adolescent risk behaviors. The program is based on a student-led approach and seeks to promote youth involvement in the planning of prevention activities. The class includes: FOCUS group training, peer helping, peer mediation, peer tutoring, violence prevention, and positive decision-making skills. Other features of the program include planning monthly health observances, a yearly school health fair, and service learning. Teacher training is provided through various Regional Education In-service Centers.

FOCUS is being replicated throughout the State of Alabama. The program is supported by the Alabama State Department of Education, Governor’s Commission on AIDS, community-based organizations, and local education associations.

Every year FOCUS hosts two events tailored specifically for students. The recurring events include the Rally for Awareness and the Alabama Youth Council held in the Spring.

Program Objectives:

Promotional consultants will:

• Schedule and meet with key individuals in school systems across the State of Alabama to provide program information, training, and promotion of FOCUS.
• Promote partnerships between community agencies and schools for youth involvement in prevention efforts.
• Participate in the ADPH’s State HIV/AIDS Prevention Council.
• Participate in the ADPH’s Area HIV/AIDS Prevention Networking Groups.
• Collaborate with the ADPH HIV/AIDS Prevention Coordinators and schools in implementation of the program.

FOCUS facilitators will be encouraged to:

• Promote student involvement in FOCUS.
• Participate in teacher training through ASDE Regional Education In-Service Centers.
• Plan and participate in monthly health observances, including but not limited to: Heart Health, World AIDS Day, Seat Belt Safety, Prevention of Underage Alcohol Use, Red Ribbon Week, Great American Smoke Out, and others as selected by the students and facilitators.
• Select and plan community service projects (2 per year).
• Maintain accurate and organized records on program activities and submit an end-of-the-year report.
• Complete survey information to determine the effectiveness of the program.

FOCUS schools gain access to the ADPH’s extensive resources, trustworthy and reliable information, support and guidance including:

• Support from the FOCUS Director and ADPH’s HIV Prevention Coordinators.
• Assistance in enhancing effective HIV prevention to meet, and exceed, the Alabama Department of Education’s minimum requirements.
• Notification of updates and advocacy issues from www.thefocusprogram.com.