Elementary School level
FAST – Elementary School level
FAST® – Elementary School level reaches children ages 3-10 at early developmental stages, with the aim of reducing critical barriers to success they may encounter during their initial introduction to school. A family’s structure and stability create the foundation for children to be successful in school, and FAST Activities are designed to strengthen family bonds, empower parents, increase positive communication and improve the child’s overall academic performance and emotional functioning.
In a FAST Cycle, families meet for eight weeks, followed by two years of monthly FASTWORKS® meetings. The weekly sessions follow a prescribed format of activities whose effectiveness have been demonstrated through research. Each evening begins with parents and children participating in activities as a family unit. This builds cohesiveness and provides opportunities for parents to strengthen their role in the family hierarchy. Parents and children then participate in separate peer activities to build social capital and relationships within their communities. Next, a parent and target child (the FAST Child) come together to engage in focused one-to-one play time that enhances family interactions and often results in better behavior by the child in school and at home. The evening concludes with activities that reinforce the importance of the family unit, reciprocity, and ritual.
FAST Sessions are led by a team that empowers parents and connects families to school and community. This collaborative team is culturally and ethnically representative of the families participating in the program, and it includes:
- For the first FAST Cycle, one Parent Partner whose child is not currently participating in FAST, but attends the school in which FAST is being held. For FAST Programs that have completed one or more 8-week FAST Cycles, this role is replaced by two to three FAST Graduate Parents;
- One School Partner, ideally a classroom teacher for the targeted student population;
- Two Community Partners who are knowledgeable about local community resources, often with expertise in substance abuse prevention or mental health and emotional well-being;
- One optional Recreation Coordinator who organizes children’s activities.
For more information about FAST- Elementary School level, please contact us.