RESEARCH BRIEFS THE UK COLLEGE OF EDUCATION INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATION RESEARCH WWW.UKY.EDU/EDUCATION/COERESEARCH.HTML HIV prevention program implemented in South Africa School-based Alcohol and HIV Prevention in South Africa Co-PIs: Sonja Feist-Price, College of Education; Rick Zimmerman, College of Communication; Pamela Cupp, College of Communication Funding Agent: NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Funding: $1.5 million A team of researchers from the University of Kentucky developed a school- based alcohol and HIV prevention program for adolescents in South Africa. This research is based on a funded school-based project in the U.S. that showed promise in delaying sexual initiation and enhanced condom use among adolescents. Alcohol and HIV prevention efforts were made (Please see “Africa” on page 3) Dr. Feist-Price with community members who enthusiastically support the research. Projects link assessment to curriculum in pre-schools Project Play in two research projects to help early Project Play has been an ongoing Co-PIs: Jennifer Grisham-Brown, education programs assess needs and program since 2001. In Kentucky, it is being University of Kentucky demonstrate success. carried out in two school systems – the Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, Kent State Jennifer Grisham-Brown, Ed.D, Jessamine Early Learning Village in University associate professor at the UK College of Nicholasville and the Franklin County Public Funding Agency: US Department of Education, and Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, Pre-School program. Education, Office of Special Education Ph.D., an associate professor at Kent State With regard to the research, Dr. Programs University, direct Project Play, a model Grisham-Brown said that it has been Funding: $700,000 over four years demonstration grant that trains early advantageous to work with these two school childhood education teachers to work with systems because they present different types Project Link students with disabilities. In later years, of educational environments. The Jessamine PI: Jennifer Grisham-Brown, University of Project Play has broadened its scope to Village operates its preschool classrooms out Kentucky include all children. of one location. Franklin County’s pre- Funding Agency: The Administration of Pre-kindergarten programs are school, on the other hand, is offered at every Children and Families, Headstart Bureau admitting more children with disabilities and elementary school in its district. Funding: $800,000 over four years teachers need special preparation on how to “We are demonstrating a method of integrate these new students into the authentic assessment that links directly with The measurement of success in program. During summer professional Kentucky’s Early Learning Standards and children’s learning environments across development sessions, Drs. Grisham-Brown can be used for curriculum development and traditional grade levels has long been a and Pretti-Frontczak show teachers how to program evaluation. It’s a more accurate subject of intensive research and study. In conduct meaningful assessments of these measure of a child’s progress at that age level the last five years, however, educational children’s developmental skills. They then than standardized testing,” commented programs that serve pre-kindergarten age show how teachers can use these assessment Grisham-Brown. children have become much more techniques to shape their instruction to With the enhanced scope of Project Play, accountable to back their claims with address students’ needs and provide a basis it shares some basic similarities with another evidence of educational success. upon which teachers can measure and track research project Grisham-Brown has been The University of Kentucky is involved the progress of individual students. (Please see “Projects” on page 2) RESEARCH BRIEFS 2 Improving Learning Environments for Health Education Improving School Learning HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The research effort that UK mounted has Environments in HIV and Pregnancy UK is helping make that curriculum better. been to test new ideas and educational Prevention Eric Anderman, associate dean for strategies that may increase the effectiveness PI: Eric Anderman, UK College of research and graduate studies at the UK of this program. Several urban and suburban Education College of Education, and Rick Zimmerman, Kentucky high schools have participated in Co-PI: Rick Zimmerman, UK College of professor in the UK Department of the project. Communications Communications and a specialist in HIV “We used the RTR curriculum as a control Funding Agency: NIH/National Institute prevention research, have both served as co- for measuring the value of the enhancements of Nursing Research (NINR) principal investigator and principal we implemented in our test groups. What we Funding: $2,086,866 over five years investigator in the research study since its want to do is test our ideas for making the initial funding in 2001. Anderman described program better against its usual rate of In the global effort to control the spread the effort as a highly effective collaborative success,” Anderman commented. of HIV infection, even successful education project between the UK Colleges of All schools participating in the study programs need to be improved. Researchers Education and Communications. The five- benefit from using the RTR curriculum. from the University of Kentucky, for year research project is funded by the The RTR curriculum teaches students the instance, are in the middle of a five-year- National Institute of Nursing Research value of abstinence by educating them on the long project to enhance the success rate of a (NINR), a branch of the National Institutes consequences of unwanted pregnancy and highly regarded educational curriculum of Health. the risks to life and health of infection from known as “Reducing the Risk”(RTR). The Richard Barth, Ph.D., developed sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. RTR program has a proven track record of “Reducing the Risk” (RTR) and put it into For students who have not engaged in sexual encouraging young people to avoid successful practice at numerous schools behavior, the program can help delay the behaviors that put them at risk of contracting across the United States in the early 1990s. (Please see “Prevention” on page 3) Projects (from page 1) involved in: Project Link. “There have been several positive K programs across Kentucky,” Grisham- Project Link, created by a partnership outcomes from both projects. We see a great Brown commented. grant between the UK College of Education deal of potential to apply our findings in pre- and the Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties, is a research project in the Council’s Headstart Program. Like Project Play, Link is a professional development program for caregivers in Headstart programs. It is also an all inclusive program, designed to train Headstart teachers to link assessment and curriculum for all children in their classrooms. But beyond those two facets, Project Link involves a greater level of professional development and is much more of a classical research study, said Grisham-Brown. Eighteen classes are involved. Nine serve as the project’s control group. The other nine have teachers attend an intensive professional development program and receive on site technical assistance from project staff. Therefore, a significant part of Link’s program is to develop assessment skills in Headstart’s employees and then teach them how to link assessment to the Kristie Pretti-Frontczak (center) from Kent State University, and Jennifer Grisham-Brown development of an effective educational (standing) from the University of Kentucky College of Education, discuss a project with program. “Project Play” participants. 3 RESEARCH BRIEFS Africa (from page 1) relationships. By making them aware of the illusion of such images, they can be more wouldn’t work in the U.S. and it doesn’t work in South Africa. We won’t succeed if critical and inquisitive about the reality of we operate from our own cultural values.” culturally relevant for adolescents in South what they see.” “Throughout all of our research projects Africa. The project is supported by a grant The research team’s HIV prevention we focus on individual difference variables from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse work led to additional funding from the that place adolescents at greatest risk for and Alcoholism (NIAAA). NIAAA. It allowed UK researchers to engaging in risky behaviors: The high Sonja Feist-Price, professor in the expand their efforts toward adolescents in sensation seekers and the impulsive decision Department of Special Education and school-settings in South Africa. makers,” Feist-Price explained. Rehabilitation Counseling, and Rick In the formative phase of the new study, The international project is being Zimmerman, professor in the UK Feist-Price recalled how the research team conducted in collaboration with a team of Department of Communications, are found that African adolescents were HIV prevention researchers in South Africa. nationally recognized specialists in the field inundated with HIV prevention messages Members of the UK research team travel to of HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention and were not interested in another health the country several times throughout the year research. program dealing explicitly with the subject. to assist with research efforts. “We hope the The school-based HIV prevention If their work was going to reach teens, they work we are doing leads us to new efforts were initially developed in 1995 would have to use a new approach. opportunities to collaborate with researchers under Zimmerman and Lewis Donohew, a “We targeted alcohol use because it is in other countries to address HIV prevention former UK professor in the College of an existing social problem that leads to high needs. Any success we have to reduce the Communications and Information Studies. risk behaviors. We obviously can’t go into numbers of new infections will help us in Feist-Price came aboard in 1996 to build on another country and think that we can the ultimate goal of bringing the HIV/AIDS their program with a minority supplement duplicate the interventions the way they pandemic under control.” to the research. At that time, the knowledge were implemented in other communities. It and skills-based intervention targeted adolescents in urban high schools in Cleveland and Louisville. “From our initial work, we expanded our focus to include community-based Prevention (from page 2) OTHER SELECTED RESEARCH: research and focused on adolescents at initiation of sexual contact. For students who highest risk for becoming infected with HIV. are already sexually active, RTR encourages Appalachian Math Science One of the three target groups were them to reconsider their behavior. Partnership (AMSP) adolescent females in urban settings. Using In their studies, UK has tested new ideas Co-PI: Ron Atwood, College of an empirically sound research design, one designed specifically to influence either Education of the primary aims of our research was to attitudinal or behavioral change in students. Funding Agent: National Science assess the impact of an enhanced skills- “We hope to find that our additions to Foundation Funding: $22 million over 5 years focused, classroom-based intervention to RTR result in even more students choosing meet the special needs and characteristics of to abstain from initiating or responding to National Assessment of Educational adolescents on perceived risk of HIV, sexual contact. We also want to see if our Progress, Secondary Analysis behavior intentions, and sexual risk-taking.” ideas help students develop the personal PI: Xin Ma, UK College of Education Feist-Price said regarding their research. confidence to say ‘No’ and delay the Co-PI: Edward Kifer, UK College of “Some kids don’t always have many initiation of sexual activity,” Anderman said. Education positive role models to emulate, and many For students who had already engaged Funding Agent: US Dept. of Education have yet to develop the maturity or the skills in sexual activity prior to the RTR program, Funding: $96,878 to appropriately navigate relationship issues researchers wanted to see if their approaches they face.” effected their attitudes. If students are Partnerships for Preventing Farm Much of the research the UK team has determined to be sexually active, the Injuries to Rural Youth done deals with more than providing researchers hope their work may guide those Co-PI: Joan Mazur, UK College of knowledge about the risks of HIV and other students toward behaviors that will lessen Education STDs. They seek to develop behavioral skills the risk of health problems or pregnancy. Funding Agent: Center for Disease that encourage adolescents to have self- The research has tested at least six Control and Prevention pride, make responsible choices, delay different techniques and involved Funding: $237, 519 sexual initiation, develop effective approximately 3,000 high school students. Expansion of Content Literacy in communication skills, avoid putting “Because health classes are offered once Middle and High School Classrooms themselves in risky situations, and per semester in high school, we have been PI: Susan Cantrell, Collaborative understand behavioral risks. able to gather a large amount of data. Initial Center for Literacy Development “We also try to teach young people to results of our studies look promising,” said Funding Agent: KY Council on critically view media messages targeted to Anderman. “We are analyzing data on what Postsecondary Education them. Popular entertainment presents false new approaches were most successful and Funding: $200,000 messages about lifestyle and male-female added more value to the program.” RESEARCH BRIEFS 4 UK receives funding for preschool reading program Jumpstart Program Experiential Education and Career Services UK and BTWA will implement this Co-PIs: Katherine McCormick, College at the James Stuckert Career Center, echoed early reading curriculum as outlined except of Education those sentiments. for one aspect. Jumpstart is organized as a Sharon Stewart, Associate Dean, College “Jumpstart provides career experiences “pull out” program. Pre-school students of Health Sciences we encourage UK students to explore,” said leave their class to meet with their college Funding Agencies: Starbucks Foundation Strup. student mentor. Kentucky’s state-funded and AmeriCorps Tracy Meehling is the manager of preschool programs, however, are based on Funding: $150,000 Jumpstart at UK. Her responsibility is to an all-inclusive model, McCormick said. recruit students from the UK campus. Therefore, the Jumpstart program will be The Starbucks Foundation and Fortunately, AmeriCorps’ participation tailored to fit that model. “We won’t be AmeriCorps approved a grant to the provides a financial incentive for college singling out kids and asking them to leave University of Kentucky to fund a pre-school students to participate. their classroom,” McCormick said. reading program called Jumpstart at The UK students who become members of Credit for obtaining this grant is shared Booker T. Washington Academy (BTWA) in the “Jumpstart Corps,” as the program refers by the UK Colleges of Education, Health Lexington, Kentucky. Jumpstart identifies to them, will receive a $1,000 AmeriCorps Sciences, and Social Work and the pre-schoolers who are having difficulty grant if they meet their obligations. This is Department of Experiential Education and reading and matches them to college students money students can apply to their education. Career services. who serve as their mentors. Dr. Katherine McCormick, an associate professor in the College of Education and a specialist in early childhood education, and Sharon Stewart, associate dean of the UK College of Health Sciences, are the faculty investigators for the Lexington Jumpstart program. “Jumpstart is excellent for two reasons. First, it is a sound, research-based literacy curriculum for pre-school students. It uses an assessment component, sets goals in collaboration with the pre-school teachers and families, and incorporates measures to determine if those goals are achieved. That aspect adds to its quality because it provides information to families about the progress of their child and ways to support their growth and development at home,” McCormick commented. For aspiring early education teachers, Jumpstart provides a solid career experience prior to their student teaching. Sue Strup, Director of UK’s Students at The Booker T. Washington Academy read with their teacher and their mother.
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