Pictured: Project REAL’s ‘Choices & You’ Student Guide:
An Evidence-Based Approach To Improving Student Behavior,
Available Now For Free To Schools Throughout Nevada
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Project REAL’s free resource is available to directly address end-of-year behavior challenges
while bringing ‘summer camp energy’ to middle school classrooms.
LAS VEGAS (Monday, April 10, 2023) – While behavior issues were a growing national concern in schools long before the pandemic, they increased significantly as students returned to schools when in-person learning resumed. As the end of the school year approaches, one Nevada-based nonprofit, is working to make things easier for local teachers and parents during this particularly challenging season for student behavior.
Project REAL has been providing Nevada’s schools with free resources for teaching young people about laws since 2005. Their newest resource, Choices & You, is aimed squarely at addressing behavior challenges in middle schools. It’s a classroom experience designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of the consequences of their actions by exposing them to over 200 laws specific to Nevada. The experience includes more than 15 team-based activities that encourage critical thinking about decision-making, particularly when it comes to breaking the law.
Despite its focus on laws and consequences, Choices & You was built to be engaging and fun for students and teachers alike. In designing the experience, Project REAL made a deliberate effort to ensure that it could be easily integrated into middle school classrooms in Nevada. That’s why Choices & You aligns with over 40 of the Nevada Department of Education’s content correlations, making it a seamless addition to any English Language Arts or Social Studies class serving grades 6 – 8.
Inspired by an older resource called “Play By the Rules,” which the organization offered for more than a decade, Choices & You incorporates modern insights into adolescent behavior and decision-making, making it significantly more effective. According to Project REAL’s Senior Director Mike Kamer, the shift in approach has been highly effective, and as a result, they’ve had reports that students with behavior issues have become some of the most engaged students in the classrooms when Choices & You has been brought in.
“We don’t give them a list of laws and demand they follow them. Instead, we speak to them at their level, and empower them with a skill set that allows them to understand how their decisions can have much farther-reaching consequences than they realize, but that those choices are theirs to make. It’s also worth noting that in each class where Choices & You has been used, no less than 80% of the students reported a positive impact from their experience with the program. ” said Kamer.
Although Choices & You can be used at any time of the year, Project REAL is specifically targeting teachers whose students have completed this year’s testing cycles to incorporate the resource into the final days of classtime. By doing so, the nonprofit believes that teachers can proactively address end-of-year behavior challenges, reduce incidents of trouble among students during the summer break, and even set the students and their classrooms up for successful behavior in the next school year.
Kaylee O’Donnell, Program Coordinator at Project REAL, emphasizes the immediate risks that students face when making uninformed decisions. “I have led our 45-minute emergency behavior intervention ‘REAL Ready’ in classrooms, which is like a movie-trailer version of Choices & You. Through this work, I have yet to come across a classroom where at least a few students weren’t on the brink of making decisions that could lead to ‘accidental crimes.’ It’s particularly prevalent among this age group, and many well-behaved kids just don’t understand the legal consequences of their choices.”
Project REAL is offering schools the opportunity to use Choices & You for the final five days of the remaining school calendar, and pledge to follow the plan for the 2023-2024 school year. Schools that agree to this will be prioritized to receive school sets of the Choices & You guides.
The organization has made the entire guide available on a special website for download, and encourages schools to seek out print editions at no cost other than a pledge. To bring Choices & You to their school for free, parents, teachers, or school administrators can contact Project REAL by emailing the nonprofit’s Senior Director Mike Kamer at email@example.com or calling 702.703.6529. For more information or to download the a free digital copy of Choices & You, visit https://projectrealnv.org/choices
For interviews or followup, please contact Project REAL’s Senior Director Mike Kamer at 702.703.6529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project REAL, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded in 2004 by Irwin Molasky to meet the challenge of teaching Nevada’s Kinder-through-College students the importance of the law. Since then, they have taught over 200,000 students in Nevada about their rights and responsibilities under the law, with the goal of preparing them to be informed, law-abiding and participating citizens through courthouse field trips, mock trials, and unique in-class experiences. For more information or to make a financial contribution so more students could benefit, please visit https://projectrealnv.org.