ART is an intensive ten-week life-skills program in which the youth attends one-hour group sessions three times per week. In these sessions, participants gain tools that allow them to solve problems, make decisions, and interact positively in social situations. The ART curriculum consists of three components: Structured Learning Training (The Behavior Component), Anger Control Training (The Emotional Component), and Moral Reasoning (The Values Component).
- Structured Learning Training – Is the teaching of a series of interpersonal skills that address various social situations and is an alternative to aggressive behavior. An example of a few of the skills being taught would be: “Making a Complaint”, “Keeping out of Fights”, and “Understanding the Feelings of Others”. Each youth will role-play the skill in group and, with practice and feedback, will progress to using the skill outside the classroom.
- Anger Control Training – The focus is on teaching youth self-control in dealing with their anger. Techniques for reducing and managing feelings of anger in difficult situations are introduced and role-played. The goal is to empower the youth through positive anger control methods. This enables them to have a variety of options in dealing with a problem rather than the single option of aggression.
- Moral Reasoning – A new problem situation is presented to the group each week, with each group member responding to questions to the moral dilemma presented in the scenario. This component is designed to help correct the youth’s thinking errors and lead him or her to see there are other ways of acting in different situations. Throughout the group discussion, youth are exposed to the different perspectives of other group members. The purpose of the discussion is to facilitate mature reasoning in order for the youth to make more mature decisions in social situations. The group does not teach values.
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