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American Character Builders releases new resource kits geared toward studentscomment (0)

September 15, 2011

By Julie Payne

Preventing bullying. Raising awareness of alcohol and tobacco. Saying no to meth, marijuana and cocaine. These topics are addressed in new resource kits produced by American Character Builders (ACB).

ACB, an educational program designed to help students and adults learn how to make wise choices, made the kits available to order Sept. 7.

Intended for students in grades 5–12, the kits are the product of more than two and a half years of design efforts, production work and fundraising.

The organization recognized a need for the kits as presenters for its school programs became more difficult to come by and schools became more difficult for outside speakers to get in to, said Joe Godfrey, executive director for ACB and Alabama Citizens Action Program.

So the most popular programs were transformed into four kits:
• The Bully Issue
• Alcohol — It’s a Killer!
• Tobacco Awareness
• Saying NO to Meth, Marijuana and Cocaine!

“Bullying is becoming a huge problem,” Godfrey said. “Every day, we’re reading about a child who takes his or her life because of bullying in school and they just can’t take it anymore.”

ACB’s program shows schools how they can become safe places for kids and help deal with bullying, he added.

But schools aren’t the only entities that can benefit from the kits.

“If a student pastor wants to teach this material on a Wednesday night Bible study for his young people … he could just actually go through and, on each of the slides or key points throughout the presentation, insert biblical references,” Godfrey said. “It’s very versatile, very flexible, and can be used in a variety of different and great ways to reach young people.”

Each kit contains a teacher’s guide, a CD with a PowerPoint presentation and additional resource material and 30 student booklets. Extra student booklets can be ordered.

“You can add personal stories or comments and turn the program into your own program and utilize it anyway you want to utilize it,” Godfrey said.

The student booklets include a listening guide with blanks that correspond to highlighted words in the PowerPoint presentation.   

ACB hopes to have Bible studies available soon that will serve as optional companion pieces to the kits.

The organization is also developing additional kits. Topics include character, skills for a good life (featuring health-related subjects like exercise and eating right), conflict management, pornography and gambling.

“There’s so much opportunity here to help young people to grow and to learn to make healthy choices in life and to become productive citizens,” Godfrey said. “And ultimately, we would like to see — as a Christian-based ministry — their lives turned over to the Lord, because … He is the ultimate character builder.”

In addition, ACB dreams of one day repackaging some existing programs and directing them toward businesses in order to train employees how to be pre-emptive instead of reactionary when dealing with problems in the workplace.

For more information, visit www.americancharacterbuilders.org.

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