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unique YOU (formerly I’m Special)

Program Description

The unique YOU program (formerly called I’m Special) is designed to build self-esteem in third- and fourth-grade students, ages 8 to 11. The program’s primary goal is to develop and nurture a child’s uniqueness and self-worth. The program teaches communication and decision-making skills, how to positively express feelings, and the value of healthy choices, including resisting substance use. 

Eight sessions are delivered weekly for 45 to 60 minutes. The session’s learning goals are introduced by the facilitator and are followed by grade-level appropriate, hands-on, interactive activities. Each session’s activities are linked to the Common Core state standards initiative. The session topics focus on concepts that include 1) classroom behaviors and friendships; 2) discovering strengths and special talents; 3) accepting and expressing feelings; 4) communicating positively; 5) decision making; 6) cooperation and teamwork; 7) healthy habits such as resisting alcohol, tobacco, and drugs through a clear “no use” message; and 8) applying these skills in other areas of life.

Program Snapshot
Evidence Ratings
Cognitive Functioning
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs About Substance Use
Social Competence
Program Contact
Angela Allen
Executive Director, Center for Prevention Services

1117 East Morehead Street, Charlotte NC 28204


Dissemination/Implementation Contact
Yelena Yeremuk

1117 East Morehead Street, Charlotte NC 28204


Program Type
Mental health promotion
Substance use disorder prevention


6-12 (Childhood)

Geographic Locations
Rural and/or frontier

School / Classroom

Information not provided

Implementation materials available
Dissemination materials available