Club HERO (Helping Everyone Reach Out)

An Effective Practice


Club HERO was designed to help parents, teachers, and the community prevent children from entering the drug culture. Each Club HERO participant participates in the intervention for 6 hours per week, for 14 weeks. During each week the program includes time to wind down with a snack, drug education, and a parent and youth advocacy project. Other intervention activities include periodic outside speakers who serve as HEROs for the students, and working on gardening projects. In addition, once a month, the parents join the students to work on their advocacy project. The remainder of the time is spent on recreation, cultural enrichment, and arts and crafts activities. The student reward system allows students to "purchase" small items with points earned for a variety of achievements and behaviors related to school performance and participation in tasks at home. The central curriculum of the Club HERO program is the drug education course developed by National Families in Action called You Have The Right To Know About Drugs. Over the course of 14 units, students learn how the brain works and how the use of drugs changes the brain, changes behavior, and produces addiction.

Goal / Mission

The goal of Club HERO is encourage feelings of support at home and school and increase knowledge about the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs to prevent youths' drug use.

Results / Accomplishments

The evaluation results show that there were no significant differences between the Club HERO participants and the controls with regard to any ATOD-use outcomes. Club HERO participants did, however, demonstrate significantly increased knowledge of ATOD use and its impact on African-American families and communities. In addition, compared with the controls, Club HERO participants demonstrated increased family bonding over the 2-year period from the beginning of the sixth grade to the beginning of the eighth grade. Qualitative data indicates that parents saw many positive changes in their children, which they attributed to participation in Club HERO, including improvements in homework, report card grades, attitudes toward school, commitment toward school, and expectations for own performance as well as decreased disciplinary actions needed for the child at home. Teachers and program staff also reported that Club HERO participants improved in listening skills, following rules, doing homework, reduced absenteeism, and self-esteem.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Paula Kemp
National Families in Action
2957 Clairmont Road NE, Suite 150
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 248-9679
Health / Substance Abuse
Education / Student Performance K-12
Social Environment / Family Structure
National Families in Action
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG)
Date of publication
Geographic Type
Atlanta, GA
Target Audience
Children, Racial/Ethnic Minorities