Program Goals and Theory

The Positive Action (PA) program is designed to improve youth academics, behavior, and character. PA uses an audience-centered, curriculum-based approach to increase positive behaviors and decrease negative ones.

PA is grounded in a broad theory of self-concept. It relies on intrinsic motivation for developing and maintaining positive behavioral patterns and teaches skills focused on learning and motivation for achieving success and happiness for everyone. The premise undefined that you feel good about yourself when you do positive actions and there is always a positive way to do everything undefined is represented by the self-reinforcing “thoughts–actions–feelings” circle: positive thoughts lead to positive actions, positive actions lead to positive feelings about oneself, and positive feelings lead to more positive thoughts.

Target Population and Sites

PA has been implemented in national and international alternative and mainstream settings. It has been delivered to individuals of various ages, genders, ethnicities and races, cultures, and socioeconomic levels in rural, suburban, and urban areas. The program has been used in school settings, before- and after-school programs, social service agencies, detention centers, home schooling, youth programs, family and juvenile justice agencies, correctional institutions, probation and parole settings, mental health and welfare agencies, faith-based organizations, public housing developments, and other programs specifically for low through high-risk, special-needs, and disadvantaged individuals, families, schools, and communities, including court-mandated family groups.

Program Components

The program addresses diverse problems, such as substance use, violence-related behavior, disruptive behavior, and bullying, as well as social–emotional learning, positive youth development, character, and academics.

The PA program portfolio features interactive, ready-to-use kits that contain 15 to 20 minutes of scripted lessons for schools, families, and communities.


The content concentrates on three core elements:

· The program philosophy

· The thoughts–actions–feelings circle

· Six content units on self-concept; positive actions for body and mind; social and emotional positive actions for managing oneself responsibly; social and emotional positive actions for getting along with others; social and emotional positive actions for being honest; and social and emotional positive actions for self-improvement.


These unit lessons cover diverse topics such as nutrition, problem-solving, decision-making, study skills, self-control, managing personal resources, social skills, self-honesty, and setting and achieving goals.

The Positive Actions program is geared toward low-risk middle and high school teens who have begun a negative lifestyle or are on the verge of heading down the wrong path, such as chronic absenteeism, continuous disruption to classroom learning, alcohol, drugs, and gangs.