Program Overview

Second Step: A Violence Prevention Program is aclassroom-based social skills curriculum for students from preschool throughmiddle school. The curriculum aims to reduce impulsive and aggressive behaviorsand increase protective factors and social-emotional competence. Organized bygrade level, the program teaches children empathy, problem-solving skills, riskassessment, decision-making, and goal-setting skills. The Second Step programis classified as a universal intervention, meaning that it is appropriate forwhole classrooms of children and not just those at risk.

Second Step lessons are organized into three skill-buildingunits that focus on empathy, impulse control and problem solving, and angermanagement. Lessons are sequential, developmentally appropriate, and provideopportunities for modeling, practice, and skills reinforcement. The curriculumincludes discussion, teacher modeling, coaching skills, and role-plays. Storiesare used to demonstrate important peer-relations skills and to teach affective(emotional), cognitive, and behavioral social skills. Lessons can beincorporated into health, science, math, social studies, and language arts.

The Second Step Family Guide is available as a supplement tothe program for preschool-grade 5. The six-session, facilitator-led programhelps parents learn about the curriculum and assists them in reinforcingchildren’s skills in communicating feelings, solving problems, controllinganger, and dealing with conflict.