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CASAC Partners With PAXIS, State

This summer the Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council began expanding its services to include teacher coaching in a handful of Chautauqua County school districts, including the Dunkirk, Clymer, Sherman and Jamestown school districts.

CASAC has partnered with New York state and the PAXIS Institute to implement strategies that focus on “building learning environments that prevent emergence of problem behavior” in students.

The state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services has awarded more than $1.6 million in funding to help teachers across New York state implement an initiative that will equip students with the skills necessary to reduce risk factors associated with drug use and addiction. The awards are paid for through the state Opioid Response grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

In addition, the PAXIS Institute provided training for CASAC staff, as well as teachers, and administrators on how to implement an evidence-based program in the classroom called the PAX Good Behavior Game. CASAC’s educators, Tracy Jespersen, Natasha Juma, Jose Quinones-Visot and Waverly Lancer, will work with school faculty and staff on initiating and maintaining the successful implementation of the Good Behavior Game.

The Good Behavior Game, developed by the PAXIS Institute, uses evidence based activities to create a Nurturing Environment in the classroom.

The Good Behavior Game is an evidence based initiative that is supported by years of scientific research that shows overwhelming improvement in the lives of students and teachers.

Research shows that the PAX Good Behavior Game has a direct impact on the reduction of problem behaviors among students during almost every academic exercise. Problematic behaviors have been shown to reduce by 70 to 85% within three to four months of proper implementation of the game. Research also shows that across North America problematic behaviors today have jumped from 35 to 50 per 15 minutes in the 2000s to 100 to 150 behaviors per 15 minutes. The PAX Good Behavior Game has proven to reduce the instances of problematic behavior by 50 to 85% when PAX has been implemented successfully.

“We are beyond excited to partner with local schools in Chautauqua to implement the trauma-informed PAX Good Behavior Game,” said Melanie Witkowski, CASAC’s executive director. “There are so many youth and families that are struggling with mental emotional health issues, which often leads to using substances, whether it’s to escape or cope with their stressors. Studies have shown that even one year of the PAX Good Behavior Game significantly reduced lifetime drug use and problematic behaviors.”

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