BUCKHANNON, W.Va. Upshur County is the third county in West Virginia to deliver a primary education program to schools that helps to encourage positive messages among children about improving behavior in school.
PAX Good Transport Game, created by the Arizona-based Paxis Institute, strengthens positive behaviors and unwanted behaviors. Studies have shown that the program, now in its 50th year, reduces the use of drugs for life and increases degree rates.
“For a state that leads the nation in octane overdose deaths and leads the nation in depression, it is sensible that we ensure that we are positive, self-regulate, try to protect our children from the earth's negatives, and strive for happier people. and to make them more productive, ”said Dr. Kevin Junkins, psychiatrist for West Virginia Community Care.
Last year, West Virginia Community Care took the program through a pilot program of Braxton County Schools.
“There has been a decrease in the amount (disruptive behavior) in these classrooms,” said Junkins. “The teachers using the school are very happy. It's coming more and more. It is a different intervention than before, so it takes some time to grow but the administrators are very happy with it. They are very good advocates, and they also like school systems. ”
Indeed, two teachers in Braxton County who were thinking of retirement decided to continue working because the program made them excited to teach again, he said.
“This year we entered Lewis County Schools, and next year we will be doing Upshur County Schools. We hope to expand into other counties too, ”says Junkins.
Dr. Dennis Embry, president of the PAXIS Institute, said that classrooms in Pre-K grades would play through 5 hours or more each day while they were doing their regular studies.
They might be doing math, they might be doing art, they might be doing physical activities in the gym, they could be at writing or reading, ”said Embry. “The teacher goes about his business, helping the children, talking, teaching, helping to solve a problem.
“It doesn't matter, shape, or what kind of teaching it is,” he said. “The children are learning. They are on teams so they have to learn how to work together. This is essential for people. ”
The positive behaviors that PAX promotes are peace, productivity, health and happiness.
“When the timer hits, if we have three or fewer (disturbing behaviors) we,” said Embry. “If we have four or more, we don't win.”
While a class with no disruptive behavior would be ideal, Embry said that this is an incredible achievement.
“It's just a life of life that people make mistakes. But it's not about learning not to do it, it's learning it's okay, if you don't, ”he said. “You'll do better next time. You have learned that it is okay for something in a period of time and then become more resilient next time. ”
At the end of the allocation time, special activities are then treated with the winners.
“We could make 10 seconds of drumming on the desk with our pencils and figures. We could engage in a playful activity as we probably have to stand up and get some physical activity, ”said Embry.
But there is something to do with PAX for the teachers to do not to get into the classroom.
It has permanent life-long consequences.
“Children in the first grade who do this very well, their standardized test scores in third grade will be much better in both maths and reading. And the curriculum has never changed, ”said Embry.
Further studies at Johns Hopkins University, which also includes Embry as a clinician, follow these children up to the age of 25. To date, approximately 1,000 people have been studied in random efficiency comparison tests.
“For girls, college attendance has risen by 52 percent and a 25 percent increase in high school graduates by girls because they were not pregnant,” said Embry.
Degree rates for boys increased by 19 per cent.
In both genders, violent crime was reduced by about 30 per cent, alcohol abuse decreased by 35 per cent, 20 per cent psychiatric services, and suicide ideas more than 50 per cent.
“The return on investment is 70 to 1 and so every dollar saves this, the students, teachers, schools, communities, state, the nation, a lot of money,” Embry said.
The science behind these changes stems from two factors – peer influence and academic achievement.
“First of all there are colleagues in your early years who reinforce poor behavior,” said Embry. “These behaviors collect over time, and they do a few things. They reduce positive peer influences, and then children play the game essentially. I will be ladder than you are bad to take care of. ”
Embry said that not only does the behavior of children drive towards guilt, but that they are more likely to be aggregated in the community of other children doing all of those things.
“And this results in great peer pressure and peer involvement in drugs, tobacco, it is not subject to what it is,” he said.
Great, there are no drugs, suicide, depression, teenage pregnancy or other social concerns that help to reduce PAX.
“But all of this has an impact because the children are no longer inclined to behave, and are not pushed into biased behavior,” said Embry.
Junkins feels the most important thing to prevent these behaviors before they even start to fight the opioid epidemic of the state.
“When you think of addiction, depression and mental health in general, in any other medical condition in the United States, do we wait until it becomes a problem before we face it,” he said. “We have vaccines, we have preventative strategies, we have ways to tackle these. But with addiction in this state, I don't think we do a good job to prevent these things because a PAX Good Transport Game is available for these children. ”
Learn more about PAXIS Institute and PAX Good Transport Game here.