This year, we will continue to implement the PATHS curriculum in all Kindergarten—2nd grade classes. The PATHS program provides teachers with a systematic and developmental procedure for addressing factors, which can negatively affect a child’s behaviors and ability to benefit from his/her school experiences. PATHS, which stands for Providing Alternative Thinking Strategies is a curriculum designed to help children:
- develop specific strategies that promote reflective responses and mature thinking skills.
- be more self-motivated and enthusiastic about learning.
- obtain information necessary for social understanding and positive behavior.
- increase their ability to generate creative alternative solutions to problems.
- learn to anticipate and evaluate situations, behaviors, and consequences.
These skills, in turn, increase the child’s positive social interactions, reduce isolation, and provide opportunities for a variety of learning experiences. Increasing self-control and reflective thinking skills in young children promotes skills which help prevent problem behaviors in the future (e.g., alcohol and drug abuse). In addition, as PATHS activities become a regular part of the school day, less instructional time will need to be used to correct behavior problems. In this way, classroom and school climate can be improved. In the coming weeks, ask your child about PATHS. We hope that they will be able to talk with you openly about how this program helps them feel more upbeat about themselves and shows them how to interact more positively with their peers. If you should have any questions about the PATHS program, please feel free to talk with your child’s teacher, or Mrs. Ellefson, our school counselor.