SNAP for Schools is a whole-school approach aimed at decreasing aggressive, anti-social, and bullying behaviour and increasing prosocial behaviour in students.
SNAP for Schools aims to help children with disruptive behaviour problems who are most likely to get in trouble because of their difficulty with self-control. These children might not have learned how to deal effectively with their anger and they have inadequate impulse control and problem solving skills.
Classrooms are selected if they contain at least two children who have been identified by a teacher, social worker or an administrative staff as displaying above-average levels of behavioural problems. These children receive SNAP in their classrooms alongside their classmates. The uniqueness of this program is that while it assists those students already struggling, it can benefit all children in the classroom as they learn new strategies and life skills.
Selected classrooms participate in SNAP activities for a 12-week duration. All weekly sessions are led by a trained SNAP for Schools Facilitator in conjunction with a representative from that school. Sessions are typically 45 minutes and cover topics such as:
- Dealing with bullying
- Dealing with peer pressure
- Dealing with anger
- Problem solving and apologizing
- Joining in
Children are also given SNAP mini-assignments; some of these are take-home. The purpose of these assignments is to reinforce the skills taught during the classroom session.
The Child Development Institute, Toronto, Canada has conducted child and teacher focused, school-based programs over two decades (beginning in 1982). The model has significantly evolved, informed by ongoing internal research and by the parallel development of the model SNAP intervention programs.
Preliminary findings from some of the school-based pilot sites indicated that there were:
- fewer discipline issues
- overall improvement in behaviour outside the SNAP group setting (e.g., class, playground)
- improvement in behaviour during the SNAP group session
- marked improvement in the classroom, by mid-intervention
- overall, preliminary evaluations are promising with significant positive behavioural changes being identified