Imagine a World Where Middle Schoolers…
- Honestly appreciate differences
- Consistently step up to leadership opportunities and step out of social drama
- Respectfully respond to criticism
- Simply solve their own problems instead of relying on adults or peers
- Effortlessly manage the tricky social landscape so they can be more academically successful
It’s finally possible!
Athena’s Path & Hero’s Pursuit are curricula taught as semester long elective classes or as components of the guidance program. Since 2004, over 5000 students have felt the life changing benefits of our programs. You won’t believe what people are saying.
You can bring Athena’s Path & Hero’s Pursuit to your school.
Click here to download a two page flyer that will help you introduce the program to your PTA, guidance counselor, or school principal.
The curriculum is approximately 20-25 hours long. Some schools fit them into a quarter (9 weeks), and others stretch them out to be a full semester (18 weeks).
You will need a 45 minute class period to teach the program. At that rate, it takes 2-3 days to get through one lesson. 8-10 lessons from our manual make a complete program. The length of your program can be extended (for example from 9-18 weeks) because you can increase discussion time to deal with issues that pop up along the way.
We have lessons for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Sometimes core lessons repeat because it’s important to build skills through practice, but students can take the class each year and experience new lessons every year.
To use the curriculum, your school organization must purchase a site license. The first year license, which includes everything in the top paragraph, is $2500. Each year after, the renewal fee is only $500. If additional manuals are needed you can order those at $50 each.
Making it Happen:
Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of experience with school budgets, resources and schedules. Here are some answers to questions you may have.
How do most schools or organizations pay for the site license?
Some schools use PTA money to pay for the program. Since you can put as many students as you like through the program, the cost usually works out to just a few dollars per student. Schools without active PTAs apply for grants from local organizations. In my city, the police department and a local church have granted money to schools in order to purchase the curriculum. Some schools find local business sponsors to fund the program. Recently a law firm and marketing firm did this.
How do schools fit this into the day?
Most public schools use Athena’s Path and/or Hero’s Pursuit as a rotating elective, along with courses like band or art. Some private schools have taught the program during advisory, extended lunch, or as a retreat before school begins.
Can this be an after school program?
Yes, but…we recommend in school programming. Obviously your school will reach fewer students after school (due mostly to transportation issues and sports/activity conflicts). We have found in general that in-school programming is much more effective and reaches a broader audience. Having said that, in Idaho the program was implemented as an after school program in conjunction with Americorps. It was a huge success! Read more about our Americorps group… (link to success stories)
How do we select the right teachers?
The right teacher is critical to the success of this program. For the best possible fit, look for teachers who are:
- good listeners
- open minded
- empathetic and inclusive
- willing to interact personally with students
- strong enough to hold kids accountable for learning tools
Can a community member or parent teach the program?
We’ve worked with schools of all sizes. Sometimes a school simply doesn’t have enough available staff to teach this program. No problem. You can certainly use community volunteers to instruct this program. We’ve trained everyone from student teachers, to clergy, to police officers, to social workers. However, we discourage you from using parents at your school as instructors. Even if a parent doesn’t have an obvious connection to your group, the students will have a difficult time being honest and open if a parent of another student is leading the group. Also, a parent could have a personal interest in teaching this program (whether it be to help her child fit in, to work through personal issues, to become friends with her children’s friends, etc.) and none of these are good for the group. Generally speaking, we say “yes” to community members and “no” to parents at the school.