Intervention: What Works

From Women and Girls Lead, Vol. 3: Women, Girls, & the Criminal Justice System collection, lesson plan 6 of 7

Time: (90 minutes + assignment)

Essential Question: What resources can you use to support your goals?

Film modules and activities adapted from the film Troop 1500

Purpose of the Lesson: Teens in need struggle to access available resources, or those resources they do connect with are not adequate to meet their needs. Often there is a genuine lack of resources. In some cases, they may not be aware of or have enough confidence to take the initiative to reach out for help. The benefits of the Troop 1500 program as an example of successful intervention will be more deeply examined. Students will also examine another cutting-edge intervention model targeting teens at high risk for contact with the criminal justice system. This lesson is designed to help students further their knowledge of existing resources in their communities and strengthen the skills needed to connect with them.

Objectives: * Identify and articulate several personal goals * Examine services offered by two intervention programs — one for incarcerated mothers and their daughters and one for at-risk girls * Role-play and practice the steps (both logistical and personal) needed to access needed resources * Make a personal plan that includes key goals and identifies available resources to support the goals

Skills: Stating and supporting opinions in class discussion and in writing, critical listening and viewing, role-playing, writing, note taking and oral presentation, identifying resources

Materials: Note: All Teacher and Student Handouts can be downloaded by clicking on “Download materials” button at the left of this page

  • Film Module 6: Intervention: What Works" (can be streamed or ordered on DVD for free)
  • Equipment to show film modules
  • Whiteboard/markers or chalkboard/chalk
  • Troop 1500 discussion guide
  • Download of the video file "Sisters Rising 9 month Program" from the Center for Young Women’s Development and computer and projector
  • Student Handout D: Achieving Your Goals

Think-pair-share: Have students make a list of five goals they want to achieve in the next two years. Have students pair up with another student and share their lists. Students should ask questions about the goals and give some positive feedback. Have several students (or all students if there is time and interest) share their goals or create a class list in front of the classroom.

Discuss: Discuss with students the importance of resources and support for achieving goals. Introduce the idea that there are many organizations that may provide them with helpful services. Ask students to share any experiences they have had or programs they have participated in that have helped them reach their potential or helped them through a crisis. Allow them to discuss any negative experiences or programs that didn’t meet their needs. Finally, ask them to describe an ideal program to support people impacted by the criminal justice system.

Reintroduce the film Troop 1500 using the "About the Films" and "Filmmaker Statement" subsections included in the "Getting Started" section and tell students that they will learn about the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program. Ask students to divide their notepaper in half and use these titles: "How the Program Helps Moms" and "How the Program Helps Daughters." Watch "Film Module 6: Intervention: What Works." Give students time after viewing to complete their notes. Review the students' notes and go deeper with these guiding questions: * What type of support does the Troop 1500 program give the mothers? The kids? * Why is trust such a big issue? In what ways does the program help build trust? Is there an adult in your life that you have a trusting relationship with? * How does the program help strengthen the bond between mothers and daughters? Why do you think it’s important for that bond to be strong? * If you could add another feature or component to the program what would it be? * Do you think a program like this will reduce recidivism, meaning that it will reduce the chance that the mothers will return to prison once they are released? * Would you be willing to participate in this type of program or refer someone you know who could benefit from it?

Students will now have an opportunity to look at another program designed to support girls like them. Watch the video "Sisters Rising 9 month Program," which is about the work of the Center for Young Women’s Development, a peer-to-peer education and support program for at-risk girls in San Francisco. Discuss the video with students using these guiding questions: * What type of program is Sisters Rising? What did you like about the program? * The video talks about the trauma that participants experience. What are some examples? What is the reality of trauma for participants? * Melanie, the project coordinator, talks about the distinction in how we deal with trauma. How does she suggest we deal with trauma? Do you agree? * What impact does the program seem to be having on participants? Would you be willing to participate in this type of program?

Activity: Phone call role-play

Accessing resources often means making phone calls to get more information and to make an appointment. Sometimes this step alone is an obstacle for teens who may fear public speaking and new situations or who have trouble taking the extra steps needed to accomplish a goal.

In this activity, students will work in pairs and role-play such a phone call. One student will play the director of a known local program and the other student will play a teen interested in learning more about the program. As students are performing, make notes on the board about what works and what doesn’t in terms of an effective phone call. Encourage students playing the director to offer challenges such as putting the student on hold, sounding like she doesn’t have much time, being unfriendly, or putting the student on the spot. After all role-plays are complete, review the notes on the board and praise students for participating in what might have been a challenging activity.

Assignment: Resource Fair: Matching Goals to Resources

There are a plethora of programs and resources for teens at the local as well as at the state and national levels. If anything, the challenge is to navigate that world and find the most appropriate resources.

In this assignment, students will return to the goals they listed above and match them with available resources at a class resource fair using "Student Handout D: Achieving Your Goals." This will likely require the instructor to provide outside materials on known programs and resources for teens. Students with internet access can conduct research themselves. It may be possible to invite people to come to class and make presentations about their programs. Students may also be invited to share knowledge they have about resources. Wrap up the assignment by having students attend a “resource mixer” where they meet and greet other students and share some of their goals and resources.

To get students started, here is a list of national programs: * Boys & Girls Clubs of America * United Way * Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated * YWCA

  1. Have students design their own intervention program and accompanying program brochure or website. Students with internet access can use a digital media site like Flavors to create a website. Their design should include the following information: who they are trying to reach, what their program offers, what advantages their program has over others, what participants can expect to get out of their program, etc. Bring in examples of program brochures for students to reference. Remind them that some of the most successful programs started out small. Encourage them to think outside of the box to offer a unique program. For inspiration, students can check out these programs:

  • Film module:
    What Works
Download lesson materials