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Count On Me Kids

Program Description

Count On Me Kids is a social and emotional skills-building program to promote self-esteem, assertiveness, self-reliance, and good decision making in first- and second-grade students. The program teaches students the importance of thinking for themselves, how to make healthy choices, and how to effectively resist peer pressure. The program is based on a “thrive{ology}” framework that specifies that youths can achieve their full potential by 1) identifying their individual “spark” or passion, 2) adapting a “growth” mindset, 3) building goal-management skills, and 4) finding time to reflect on their activities and outcomes. The central tenet of this framework is to shift from a “fixed” to a “growth” mindset. A fixed mindset assumes that a person’s character, intelligence, and creative ability are static and unable to change in any meaningful way. A growth mindset, on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of a lack of intelligence or skill, but as a springboard for growth. Ultimately, with the help of caring adult leaders, the development of a growth mindset increases a youth’s ability to thrive.

Count On Me Kids is a school-based curriculum delivered weekly in 30- to 45-minute sessions over 6 weeks. Storyboards are used in each session to demonstrate the skills and tools needed to make healthy decisions and resist peer pressure. On these storyboards, black, white, and Hispanic characters are used to represent children from different backgrounds.

In session one, “I Am Special,” students identify qualities that make them unique and feel good about themselves. Students also learn skills for developing friendships and conflict resolution. In the second session “I Am Confident and Careful,” students identify different types of behavior and their impact on self-esteem. The second session also emphasizes peer leadership and how to involve adults in solving problems. The third session, “I Keep My Body Healthy,” teaches students the value of good nutrition, exercise, and other positive approaches to staying healthy. The third session also teaches students to be aware of the choices they make and the possible consequences on their health. The fourth session, “I Want To Say No,” focuses on good, bad, and dangerous personal habits, including the causes for and dangers of substance use. This session also looks at tools for resisting peer pressure and promoting positive alternative behaviors. In the fifth session, “I Want to Be Safe”, students consider the connection between adult substance abuse and physical and emotional abuse or neglect of children. This session also teaches students about their right to be safe and protected and how to seek help from a trusted adult. In the sixth and final session, “I Know How To Say No,” students learn effective refusal skills to address peer pressure and develop positive friendship skills. Students also learn positive coping skills and discuss feelings associated with loss, separation, or divorce.

Program Snapshot
Evidence Ratings
Social Competence
Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Symptoms
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs About Health
Program Contact
Jessica Nitti
Executive Director, Camp Fire New Jersey


Dissemination/Implementation Contact
Stacy Estelle
Executive Director, Camp Fire New Jersey


Program Type
Mental health promotion
Substance use disorder prevention


6-12 (Childhood)

Geographic Locations

School / Classroom

Asian or Pacific Islander
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino

Implementation materials available
Dissemination materials available