National Families in Action
A Guide to NFIA Projects


Innercity FIA


Back to NFIA

Search NFIA


An After-School Program That Works
Club HERO, developed and tested under a 5-year grant from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, provides a positive, nurturing atmosphere for middle-school children during the critical after-school hours.

Positive Rewards for Positive Behavior
Home Club HERO (Helping Everyone Reach Out) rewards students for
"doing their job" well with visible motivation. Students earn points for a variety of achievements and behaviors related to
school performance and participation in tasks at home. They then redeem the points for Club HERO incentives and gifts.

"The point collection system is fun and provides the incentive children need to make an extra effort," says sixth-grade teacher Caitlin Sims.


Program Goals
The goals of the program are to increase student bonding to school, improve academic achievement, develop peer leaders, and increase parent participation. Because the job of a student is to perform well in school, the first hour of the program is reserved for completing homework assignments or participating in tutorials.

Science-Based Drug-Education
A central feature of Club HERO is a drug-education course developed by National Families in Action called You Have The Right To Know About Drugs. The curriculum teaches children how the brain works and how drugs of abuse change the brain, change behavior and produce addiction.
Celebrating Local Heroes
Students have an opportunity to hear from and interact with local community "heroes," ordinary people who have reached their goals through perseverance and hard work.

"Club HERO offers our students a safe, positive environment and an opportunity to meet and learn from adults who have achieved success in many fields," said Thomas Kenner, Middle School Principal.

Club HERO is flexible, allowing schools to tailor the program to meet their needs. The program can operate once a week, twice a week or every day. Elements of the program can even be incorporated into the school day.
Parent Love It!
Parent involvement is an integral part of the program. Parents are encouraged to become involved in the school and the community for the sake of their children. Projects sponsored by Club HERO prove to parents that they can be change-agents in their communities.

"Our parent group wanted a sidewalk in front of the school. We worked together, contacted city officials and the city council. Our sidewalk was dedicated two years after we started advocating for it -- and we were there!" exclaims Mary Mitchell, Parent.

Educators Love It!
"Club HERO combines after-school tutoring, close academic monitoring, incentives for achievement, and a strong drug-education curriculum in order to foster resiliency in children," notes Paula Schwartzberg, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Staff, DeKalb County School System.

"The t-shirts, assignment books, key chains and other collateral with the Club HERO logo contribute to the sense of belonging that middle-school students seek," comments Millicent McCaskill, Teacher. "It works!"

Kids Love It!
Kids love it! Being part of a group and building strong relationships with peers and staff in such a positive environment lets students know they are not alone when they are forced to make hard choices.

Excerpts from the Club HERO evaluation, conducted by Emstar Research, include:

Club HERO participants report less alcohol, tobacco and other drug use than the comparison group.

Parents' ratings of their children after participation in Club HERO show a significant positive intervention effect.

The You Have The Right To Know About Drugs curriculum significantly increases Club HERO participants' knowledge of the effects of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.

Club HERO graduates have initiated the creation of an continuing group which meets weekly.

A Club HERO Quick Start Kit and a Student Incentive Kit are available to help you start a Club HERO program in your school, church, or community center.

About Site Map Privacy
© Copyright 2001 National Families in Action. All rights reserved.
Questions? Write to