Copy of How it Works

Give kids the confidence and skills they need to grow into happy, healthy adults.

Too Good puts self-efficacy and interpersonal skills development to work through fun and interactive lessons, building the self-confidence young people need to make healthy choices and achieve success. The Too Good programs promote positive, pro-social attitudes and behavior while fostering healthy relationships, resistance to substance use and conflict, and resistance to negative peer pressure and influence.

Comprehensive Framework

Too Good cultivates positive outcomes through skills development in:
  • Setting Reachable Goals
  • Decision Making 
  • Conflict Resolution 
  • Effective Communication 
  • Problem Solving 
  • Pro-social Bonding
  • Identifying and Managing Emotions

Readiness for Dissemination

Too Good includes the resources necessary for interactive, social, and engaging implementation, including:
  • Instructor-Friendly Lessons
  • Fully Scripted Lesson Format
  • Assessment and Evaluation Tools
  • Social Interactive Activities
  • Comprehensive Sequential Lesson Structure
  • Strategies for Building Family and School Connectedness
  • Family Component with Activities for Caregivers and Students
  • Cross-curricular supplement activities

    The Too Good programs are designed to prevent complex problems with many contributing factors, thus, they are multifaceted and based on several theoretical constructs which have been strongly supported by research in the prevention field. This Theory of Change shows how we believe these interventions can change the trajectory of a child's life. The theoretical foundation of Too Good includes elements of:

    •   Social Learning Theory (Bandura)

      According to the Social Learning Theory, drug use is a socially learned, purposeful behavior that is shaped primarily through modeling (observing behaviors) and reinforcement (experiencing positive consequences for behavior). Modeling contributes to the development of both pro-social and anti-social behaviors. This theory is based on a self-efficacy paradigm in which behavior change and maintenance depend on expectations about the outcomes (risks & benefits) of engaging in the behavior, as well as a sense of self-efficacy (expectations about one's ability to engage in the behavior).

      Too Good programs also apply Social Learning Theory by addressing social influences such as peers, advertising, and media and by correcting misperception of social norms; persuading students of the value of pro-social behaviors; emphasizing the development of social and personal skills to resist social and environmental pressures to use drugs; and modeling pro-social skills, offering opportunities to perform the skills and providing rewards and recognition for using them.

    •   Problem Behavior Theory (Jessor)

      From the perspective of Problem Behavior Theory, drug use and other highly correlated behaviors form a syndrome of purposive behaviors which are psychologically functional for many adolescents. Problem Behavior Theory posits that efforts to change behavior may focus on any or all of the following levels: behavior, personality, and environment.

    •   Health Behavior Theory

      An extension of Problem Behavior Theory, Health Behavior Theory, proposes that strategies be used to introduce or strengthen health-enhancing behaviors and simultaneously weaken or eliminate health-compromising behaviors. This theoretical approach suggests that prevention efforts should attend to the larger environment, including social norms and social supports regulating the occurrence of behaviors and interventions should focus on multiple behavioral targets.

      Some of the assumptions underlying the Too Good programs are based on Problem Behavior Theory and Health Behavior Theory providing normative education, teaching tips, and a parent component designed to make the school and family environments more supportive of drug-free and non-violent choices. They provide role-play and decision-making scenarios not only dealing with aggression and alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, but with other problem behaviors as well.

    •   Social Development Model (Hawkins and Catalano)

      The Social Development Model is an integration of Social Control and Social Learning Theory. The Social Development Model emphasizes the importance of protective factors: (a) bonding to pro-social family, school, peers and community and (b) clear standards or norms of behavior. According to this model, positive socialization occurs when youth have the opportunity to be involved in conforming activities, when they develop skills necessary to be successfully involved, and when those with whom they interact consistently reward desired behaviors. These conditions would increase attachment to others, commitment to conforming behavior, and belief in the conventional order. Too Good programs are based on the Social Development Model in that they build protective factors, including bonding and norms. The Too Good programs teach skills and provide opportunities and rewards/recognition for participation. They emphasize pro-social norms, providing activities and information to counter students' misperceptions regarding the actual level of drug use, and strongly support healthy normative beliefs and clear standards. They send a clear, no-use, non-violent message to students.

      The Social Development Model asserts that children are affected by risk and protective factors in multiple domains: Individual/Peer, Family, School and Community. Too Good programs primarily address risk and protective factors in the Individual/Peer Domain, which are the factors best addressed in a classroom setting.

    •   40 Developmental Assets (Search Institute)

      The Developmental Assets Framework (Search Institute) suggests positive, healthy youth development depends on the presence of developmental assets, 40 building blocks that all children need to grow up healthy, competent and caring. These assets are internal (i.e. educational commitment, values, social competencies and positive identity) and external (i.e., support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations). Their effect is cumulative; the more assets young people have, the more resilient they will be, and the more engaged in positive behaviors. The fewer assets they have, the more likely they are to become involved with drugs, violence and other antisocial behaviors. Too Good programs are based on many assumptions consistent with the Developmental Assets Framework, including a proactive, positive focus and a commitment to long-term building of internal and external assets, for all students, regardless of their risk. The goal of Too Good is not only to prevent problem behavior, but also to promote positive, healthy youth development.

    Research Based

    A Research Based program is grounded in a well-established Theory of Change. Each of the Too Good programs employs strategies that scientific research has shown to reduce risk factors and build protective factors related to various risky or aggressive behaviors. A risk factor increases the risk of problem behaviors, while a protective factor buffers the risk and increases a child's chance of healthy development and success.

    The Too Good prevention programs include measurable objectives that link the target group with the program goals demonstrating why and how the program is expected to work. They also have implementation guidelines (length of lessons, number of lessons taught in a given time period, etc.) and evaluation tools that enable program administrators and third-party evaluators to measure an implementation's effectiveness.

    Decision makers including grant makers, policy makers, and agency or school directors interested in understanding which program or practice elements are essential, and which can be modified without jeopardizing outcomes or sustainability, will want to familiarize themselves with Too Good’s Core Components. 

    Clear identification of a program’s core components can guide these decision makers, with developer assistance, to make “functional adaptations,” for example, to meet an RTI/PBIS alignment and avoid “drastic mutations” like making a 10-week program a single event presentation or rally.

    Too Good Core Components consist of 4 elements:

    Elements 2-4 are those that operationalize, make active, or bring to life Element 1: Theory-Based and Empirically Derived Principles. 

    1. Theory-Based and Empirically Derived Principles

    This element describes the principles and fact-based framework that are woven into and drive the program. Too Good's theoretical and empirical base includes:

    • Social Learning Theory (Bandura)               
    • Social Development Model (Hawkins et. al)
    • Problem Behavior Theory (Jessor)              
    • 40 Developmental Assets (Search Institute)
    • Application of Evidence-based Strategies
    • Risk Factor and Protective Factor Aims
    • Social Emotional Competency Development
    2. Contextual Factors

    This element refers to the characteristics of the environment that are related to the effectiveness of a program. Too Good's Contextual Factors include:

    • Academic-type setting                                 
    • Trained Facilitators                      
    • Universal, General Education population               
    • Children and adolescents grades K-12
    • Average classroom teacher/student ratio
    3. Structural Elements

    This element refers to the architectural design of the program necessary for consistent facilitator use. Too Good's Structural Elements include:

    • Scripted lesson design
    • Prescribed pacing
    • Student workbook for individual participation and commitment
    • Activity Materials (games, visual displays, etc.)
    • Defined frequency of lesson delivery
    • Lessons and activities delivered in the order presented in the manual
    4. Specific Intervention Practices

    This element refers to the evidence-based strategies used to deliver activities, teaching styles, content subjects, etc., to affect behavior change. Too Good's Intervention Practices include:

    • Interactive social learning activities including games, skits, songs, and role play
    • Higher order thinking activity design and objectives
    • Strength-based approach (skills development)
    • Pro-social teaching style
    • Positive reinforcement and encouragement strategies
    • Support activities for family, community, and peer group involvement.
    • Support activities for cross-curricular infusion.
    • Substance use prevention education
    • Violence prevention education
    • Character education

    So What's the Plan?

    Too Good for Drugs K-8 and Too Good for Violence K-8, when followed by Too Good for Drugs & Violence High School, comprise consistent, sequential and comprehensive K-12 prevention education. Using Too Good After-School Activities further reinforces safe and drug-free norms and skills. Using Too Good for Drugs & Violence Staff Development helps to strengthen educator's reinforcement of positive skills and norms, improving the school environment and contributing further to students' success. The parent and community components extend the Too Good message and behaviors into the home and community domains.

    Understanding the Logic Model

    The Mendez Foundation developed Logic Models for the Too Good programs to map out the Theory of Change and demonstrate graphically the assumptions that drive Too Good at each developmental level. The logic model communicates an "if-then" message of what changes the program intends to produce.

    TGFD Grades K-8            TGFV Grades K-8             TGFD&V High School

    Too Good  Fidelity Model

     1. Instructor Preparation

    • Each Instructor must complete at least one curriculum training session.

     2. Intensity and Dosage

    • Deliver one lesson per week for 10 weeks.
    • Deliver the lessons in an academic-type classroom setting.
    • Instructors have an average class size or teacher/student ratio.
    • Deliver the lessons in the order presented in the Teacher Manual.
    • Plan for and follow the allotted lesson time including the minimum activity time.
             Grades K, 1, 2, and 3        30 minute lesson run time
             Grades 4 and 5                 45 minute lesson run time
             Grades 6, 7, 8, and HS:    50 minute lesson run time

     3. Method

    • Deliver every activity in each lesson.
    • Deliver the activities in the order presented in the lesson.
    • Use all of the program materials.
    • Provide each student with his/her own Student Workbook.

    This model supports all of the Too Good programs including:

              Too Good for Drugs
              TGFV - A Peaceable Place / Social Perspectives
              Seeds of Nutrition