Stand & Serve (S&S) is an initiative that works with schools, families, and the community across Maricopa County, Arizona, to cultivate safety, equality and respect as norms for all. The goal of Stand & Serve is to prevent homelessness, child abuse, violence, substance use, oppression, depression, suicide, and more - before they begin. We have on-going Stand & Serve activities in six high schools and 6 middle/elementary schools, which are carried out during school lunches, after school, and at community centers during the summer. We also conduct monthly service projects across Maricopa County, and hold Stand & Serve Community Initiative Coalition (SSCCI) meetings.
Peer Solutions - Phoenix, Arizona, United States
In 1996, Peer Solutions was formed and Stand & Serve was developed and backed by science-based strategies, to meet many critical needs in Arizona. Over the past two years we formed a new coalition, Stand & Serve Community Coalition Initiative (SSCCI) to bring together over 30 schools, families, and community partners to share local resources and work together to plan where we want to go locally and globally. From the beginning, we have valued community input and used it to define the problems in the community, and to devise the best solutions. Together we conduct ongoing needs assessments and use local and national data to guide prevention efforts. Stand & Serve is focused on bringing about positive social change; we work to improve the health and well-being of others on individual as well as societal levels.
Stand & Serve was named by students and staff. The primary mission of Stand & Serve is to cultivate healthy communities through a primary prevention initiative fostering safety, equality and respect as norms. The objective is to cultivate positive social change while working to prevent the underlying causes of harmful behaviors before they begin. Our strategy for accomplishing this is to include students, family and community members in the planning, development, implementation, evaluation and sustainability of activities. Together we develop logic models backed by evidence-based research to ensure efforts are the most effective they can be. We are all Peers, We are all the Solution.
We began our initiative by hosting activities at one school, and now the program has expanded so much that we are now implementing weekly projects, on and off campus, with twelve schools. This expansion includes our new Coalition (SSCCI) founded by Stand & Serve members themselves. SSCCI designed and implemented our most recent needs assessment, and now we are using the results to develop a new campaign, Guts to Be Good.
Other Stand & Serve activities include:
From the beginning, Peer Solutions has utilized process, outcome, qualitative and quantitative evaluation efforts to guide the Stand & Serve initiative. We have developed and implemented community needs assessments, pre/post evaluations for students, focus groups and surveys to determine the impact of Stand & Serve on students, families, school staff and coalition members. We use results to update and guide efforts as well as to determine if we are on track with goals and objectives. Evaluation results are also used for program sustainability and expansion as they reveal the effectiveness of short -, intermediate -, and long-term goals. Data collection forms are filled out to track process evaluation for each activity.
The Stand & Serve initiative is ongoing and supported by a variety of funding sources. We believe we have been successful in sustaining and expanding efforts over the years because what Stand & Serve is doing works. For example, families have reported their students show vast improvements in demonstrating empathy as well as a commitment to service. Program effectiveness translates to sustainability. In addition, we update our logic model every year and our strategic plan every three to five years, build and maintain authentic relationships with schools, families, and community partners, and actively include individuals with special needs. We utilize evidence-based strategies and adhere to the principles of effective prevention.
Stand & Serve is considered a promising practice model and our recent assessment results indicate that our program has prompted significant improvement in attitudes and behaviors. Anthony, one of the members of Stand & Serve, puts it this way: “I joined Stand & Serve in 7th grade, and it has done a lot for me. I could go there to escape the harsh things life threw at me. Community service and peer educating did so much to make me the person I’ve become. Stand & Serve gave me tons of resources and pointed me in the right direction. When I was a younger member I was taught lessons and given factual information on good and bad going on around me. Things are happening in the world that I have the right to know about including how to do my part to fix them and deal with them in positive ways. Although I’m in a different state and different place in my life, I still catch myself employing the things I’ve learned over the 6 years I’ve been a part of the S&S family. This organization is built on hard work, good, genuine people and tons love.” Anthony, 4/10.
Peer Solutions' Website: http://peersolutions.org/