Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Activity Idea #1: Get KAHOOT!!

Hey Western Mass LST Network!

I've reached out to you all recently to get your questions and feedback on using Lifeskills in the classroom, and several of you have asked about ACTIVITIES. "How can I weave activities that get my students up and moving around into the Lifeskills program without losing control of a classroom?"

Today's blog post offers up the first of several ideas in response to this very question! Back at the training in September in Greenfield, MA, the web-based resource Kahoot was mentioned as a great way to review concepts in a unit. Here's a way that I've taken the content in LST lessons and worked it into a really fun and engaging Kahoot activity!

Once you create your Kahoot and display a "Join Kahoot" code on your Smartboard or projector, students join the class Kahoot session using a laptop, Chromebook, iPad or smartphone. As the teacher, you create the questions and answers. It's easy to take any concept or objective in LST and turn it into a Kahoot question. See my example below:

After they see this question screen, another screen appears with four possible answers (one of which you previously designated as correct)

Clearly, you all know the correct answer...right? Students key in their responses within a 30 - 60 second period of time. Points are awarded for both QUICK responses as well as correct answers.

My students LOVE Kahoot! I use it either to introduce new content, or as a way to review before an assessment. Another great activity comes from having the students WRITE the Kahoot questions themselves, which is a great higher-order thinking activity. As the teacher, you can then collect their questions, edit if necessary, and use these to create your Kahoot. Students feel incorporated into the teaching/learning/assessment process. I've found this to be a great hook.

Have you used Kahoot already? Got questions about using Kahoot? Tell us what you think!

More posts coming up soon about ACTIVITIES in the LST classroom!

Yours in prevention,


Saturday, March 11, 2017

How Lifeskills Training Can Keep Kids Healthy and Drug-Free

Webinar: How LifeSkills Training can Keep Kids Healthy and Drug-free

(republished from
Join us on this free webinar to learn more about the highly effective Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) program and how it can positively impact the lives of youth in elementary, middle, and high school. Explore the LST structure and learn how it can be an effective, enjoyable, and easy-to-teach program!picture1
Botvin LifeSkills Training:   A Proven Program for Drug-free Youth
Space is limited! After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training.
School districts, individual schools, and their partner agencies are challenged now more than ever with a number of social, emotional, and environmental needs that impact the lives of the youth they serve. Time and resources are at a premium which demands an approach that is not only diverse in it reach, but delivers multiple outcomes, meaningful change, and results.
In fact, the Surgeon General recently named LifeSkills Training (LST) as one of the most effective school-based programs for adolescents aged 10 to 18.*  The LST program is research validated, has universal appeal, is age and developmentally appropriate, will change the lives of the youth you serve for the better.
Join us to learn how the Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST)  has been proven to reduce alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drug abuse. In addition, research on LST demonstrated reductions in violence, delinquency, and most recently, prescription and opioid misuse among middle school aged-youth.
*Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, 2016

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Lifeskills Training Webinars

Western Mass Lifeskills Training users! Check out the free webinar that's being offered on Wednesday, January 25 at 12:00 noon!! Share with administrators, colleagues, and anyone you know who works in the field of prevention! Keep spreading the word about this RESEARCH and SCIENCE-BASED program that is continually proving its positive outcomes!! Click the links below to register!

The Surgeon General recently named LifeSkills Training as one of themost effective school-based programs for adolescents aged 10 to 18*

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Join us for this complimentary webinar to learn more about the how the LifeSkills Training Middle School Program can positively impact educational outcomes, reduce violence, and decrease opioid misuse as well as other drug use.

Register: Wednesday, 1/25 at noon ET (space is limited)

*Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, 2016

Ready to implement the program? Check out our training schedule to register for a Provider Training workshop, or email to schedule a workshop either online or in-person for your group.
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Link to Western MA Lifeskills Segment on Mass Appeal!

In case you missed it, here's the link to the segment that Kat Allen and I did on Mass Appeal to talk about the great stuff happening in our middle schools in the Franklin/Quabbin region!

Thank you to everyone for your continued hard work and enthusiasm for Lifeskills! It's working!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The MASS APPEAL of Lifeskills Training!

Happy 2017! We're ushering in the new year with a renewed energy that we're about to share throughout the Pioneer Valley. On Wednesday, January 11, Kat Allen of FRCOG's Partnership For Youth and Frontier Regional School's Kate Blair (yours truly) will be featured on WWLP's Mass Appeal to speak about the Lifeskills Training Program and its adoption in middle schools throughout the Franklin Quabbin region. This segment airs between 11am and noon, so tune in and hear updates on this fantastic prevention program that we're fortunate to have in so many middle schools in western Massachusetts! In case you miss it, check back to the blog - I'll post a clip of our segment!

Yours in prevention,


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

LST Assessment Tools: Keeping Our Smart Students On Track!

The other day I was teaching an 8th grade middle school LST lesson in the Media Influences unit. Boy, oh boy, do we have plenty to discuss lately about this topic! The Media Influences unit throws a spotlight on advertising techniques for products, particularly tobacco, alcohol and e-cigarettes. But I'm noticing more and more that students are savvy enough to realize the wider range of influence that the media has on all consumers, not just teens. Our conversations have really migrated from advertising to social media to election conspiracy theories to fake news and beyond. These students are so inquisitive, and they make great connections all the time!

Working with smart kids is one of the many reasons I love my job. They love to take a lesson off-road, and we have inspiring discussions about a wide range of topics that expand well beyond the ink on my LST teacher's guide. Because of my smart students, I have to work a little harder to be sure they hit the objectives of each lesson and unit. I'm sure I'm not the only teacher whose students want to push the scope of their lessons a bit further than what's on the script.

That's why having the LST Classroom Assessment Tool is so helpful. It keeps me on track, making sure I know whether my students have hit their targets. For example, I gave my students one of the questions on the LST Assessment tool as a lesson activator the other day: "Name any three common advertising techniques that we have studied in class." Most students were able to complete the task, but I realized that not all of them could. So I invested a few minutes of class in reviewing these techniques, connecting them to examples of ads that students had identified in a previous lesson. Objective reached.

Here's the link to the LST Assessment Tools for levels 1, 2 and 3:

Keep doing that AMAZING prevention work!


Western Massachusetts Lifeskills Network Coordinator

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Youth Opioid Prevention Grant Opportunity

Hey, Massachusetts Prevention People...


Utilizing $500,000 from a settlement with CVS Pharmacy, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office (AGO) is pleased to announce the Youth Opioid Prevention (YOP) grant program.  The YOP grant is designed to support school-based prevention education initiatives to address opioid dependence and addiction in Massachusetts.  The AGO is accepting grant applications from entities that will implement either a sustainable prevention curriculum or prevention programming within a public school or public school district in Massachusetts. 


Eligibility: Applicants should focus their proposals on implementing prevention curricula in public schools or school districts in Massachusetts. The AGO is highly interested in proposals focused on elementary and middle schools and those that foster community collaboration. The following types of organizations are eligible to apply:

·        Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organizations

·        Public Schools

·        Public School Districts

·        Community Coalitions & Task Forces

·        Health Providers

·        Youth Development Organizations

·        City/Town Municipalities

Law Enforcement Agencies (including District Attorney's Offices)

More information: 

Deadline: 12/9/16