Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could actually prevent mental illness and substance abuse? That was the vision of the President's Commission on Mental Illness back in 2002. And now we actually have the means to make that dream a reality. It is called the PAX Good Behavior Game. Over 120 teachers in Allen, Auglaize, and Hardin Counties have received training through funding from the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board who brought this exceptional program to our area. And more then 100 teachers are on the waiting list to be trained. Schools throughout our three counties are begging the Board to expand this training so that every teacher in every classroom can be trained. That is our vision too!
Here's how it works. Teachers "play" the Good Behavior Game with their students periodically throughout the day using well researched and proven techniques that are simple and effective. The game is played while a lesson in math, science, or history is being taught. The students compete in teams to see which team is the most well behaved.
Really! Students compete to see which team is the most well behaved and the winning team gets a prize from "Granny's Wacky Prize Basket." What does a prize look like? How about running around the classroom screaming like a chicken for 10 seconds or lying on the floor and sizzling like bacon. The kids love it. The teachers love it. Here's why. When we began this program in September many teachers were experiencing up to 150 classroom disruptions in a 15 minute period. As of January disruptions had dramatically decreased. Most teachers were experiencing 10 - 30 disruptions and we know that is going to keep improving.
Kids who have been in PAX classrooms are less likely to get involved in substance abuse or to experience ADHD by 50%. The kids are being taught self-regulation and it is a life skill that will transform this generation.
With the 1 ml. levy we can make sure every teacher in every classroom has this training.
I just wish that the PAX game was around when I was a kid because sizzling like bacon is something I've never gotten to do.