Program Exploration

Phases of Implementation:  1. Exploration  >  2. Installation  >  3. Initial Implementation  >  4. Full Implementation  >  5. Sustainability

Choosing an Evidence-Based Program (EBP) to address a community need or to add capacity to prevent problem behaviors is an exciting enterprise.  The goals of the Exploration Phase of Implementation are to identify a need for change and to select the right EBP to meet that need.  

Use the information on this page to determine if Too Good is the best program fit to meet your needs and if your organization has the capacity to reach and sustain Too Good's intended outcomes.


Program Summary

Too Good is a comprehensive family of evidence-based substance use and violence prevention interventions designed to mitigate the risk factors linked to problem behaviors and build protection within the child to resist problem behaviors.

Too Good develops a framework of social and emotional skills through the development of goal-setting, decision-making, emotion management, and effective communication skills in addition to peer-pressure refusal, pro-social bonding, and conflict resolution skills. 

Too Good builds the basis for a safe, supportive, and respectful learning environment.

Setting and Target Population

The Too Good programs are universal prevention interventions that target children and adolescents Grades K-12.  The Too Good programs are designed for delivery in a classroom style setting that supports individual, paired, and group learning. Too Good programs align with frameworks for Response to Intervention (RTI) or Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS) to aid students with varied needs in whole group, small group, or individualized settings. 

The programs are successfully implemented by:

  • Teachers
  • School Counselors
  • Prevention Specialists
  • Community Youth Educators
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Law Enforcement Officers
  • Student Peers
  • Other youth focused mentors, guides, and educators

Prevention Framework

Effective prevention programs like Too Good promote the development of social emotional skills and educate youth about the effects and consequences of risky behaviors like engaging in substance use and violence.  Because the delivery of information alone rarely changes behaviors, and because other informative or emotional appeal strategies like didactic lectures, scare tactics, alarming statistics, or infrequent or single event presentations have proven to be ineffective in reducing or deterring risky behaviors in children and youth, Too Good takes a skills-based approach to prepare children and adolescents to make healthy responsible decisions.

Too Good programs are based in sound development and prevention theory.  They use a strengths-based approach that builds on strengths and wellness as part of a strategy to address risk aiming to build protective factors.  Too Good programs are interactive and hands-on providing opportunities for skill building and skill application.

Targeted Risk Factors and Protective Factors

Too Good targets the following risk factors and protective factors associated with substance use or antisocial behavior in children and adolescents:

Protective factors targeted for increase

  • Social and emotional competency skills
  • Personal efficacy
  • Exposure to school, community, and cultural norms that reject substance use or antisocial behaviors
  • Increased knowledge and perception of harm of the negative effects of substance use
  • Positive school connectedness

Risk factors targeted for decrease

  • Poor social and emotional skills
  • Favorable attitudes toward substance use or antisocial behavior
  • Norms favorable toward substance use or antisocial behavior
  • Peer rewards for substance use or antisocial behaviors
  • Early initiation of substance use
  • Physical violence
  • Bullying behavior

Expected Outcomes

In random control trials Too Good programs have been shown to reduce substance use and antisocial behavior.

Too Good for Drugs Short-Term Outcomes

  • Students show improved social emotional competency and resistance skills.
  • More students perceive substance use as wrong, risky, or harmful; fewer see it as acceptable or cool.
  • More students report that substance use is not the norm and not a positive behavior.
  • More students report a greater sense of self-efficacy.
  • More students report feeling connected with the school/instructor.

Too Good for Drugs Long-Term Outcomes

Following program implementation, students report that as a result of exposure to TGFD, they intend to abstain from/reduce use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.  In schools that have the ability to measure these behaviors, TGFD leads to fewer incidents of ATOD use.

Too Good for Violence

TGFV - A Peaceable Place; TGFV - Social Perspectives Short-Term Outcomes

  • Students show improved social emotional competency and media literacy skills.
  • More students perceive violent acts as wrong, risky, or harmful; fewer see it as acceptable or cool.
  • More students report that violence is not the norm and that their friends do not approve of violent behavior.
  • More students report a greater sense of self-efficacy.
  • More students report feeling connected with the school/instructor.

TGFV - A Peaceable Place; TGFV - Social Perspectives Long-Term Outcomes

Following program implementation, students report that as a result of exposure to TGFV, they intend to resolve their conflicts non-violently.  In schools that have the ability to measure these behaviors, TGFV leads to fewer incidents of violence. 

Explore the Efficacy Studies

Too Good Fidelity Model

Too Good programs are evidence-based universal interventions that have undergone rigorous evaluation to establish their effectiveness. Once a program has established effectiveness, program implementation determines how likely the intended outcomes are achieved. An intervention delivered with fidelity to the implementation model refers to the degree to which facilitators remain faithful to the program design throughout program delivery.

The program design includes the delivery methods, activities and materials, intensity and dosage of the program, and other core components that make the program effective.

Learn more about the Fidelity Model

Evaluation Tools

Evaluation instruments to assess the fidelity of your implementation, including instructor performance, and to collect student outcomes data, including knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and behavior, are provided at every program grade level.

Adaptations to the Fidelity Model

Adaptations or modifications to the program design are sometimes necessary for implementation in real-world settings. Proper and minor adaptations that can enhance effectiveness include: 

  • Minor adjustments to lesson scenarios to adjust the wording, terms, or setting to be more reflective of the student population
  • Adjusting the delivery of activities to accommodate the learning needs of the students

Improper adaptations can reduce or weaken effectiveness or have a counter effect.

Adaptations should only be made to enhance effectiveness. Adaptations should not be made for convenience or to suit the implementation style of the facilitator.  Adaptation decisions should be made collaboratively with the site Implementation Coordinator or other responsible party and a Mendez Foundation Implementation Adviser.

Learn more about the Adaptations Protocol

Program Training

Successful implementation of an evidence-based program like Too Good requires planning and preparation and trained staff at all phases. 

Learn more about Training

Phases of Implementation:  1. 
Exploration  >  2. Installation  >  3. Initial Implementation  >  4. Full Implementation  >  5. Sustainability

Preparing your site to launch Too Good requires the examination and strengthening of the structural and functional components necessary to deliver the program with success.  The following tasks and activities will help prepare your site and build confidence to implement Too Good with fidelity.

Installation Outcomes:

  • An Implementation Team has committed to guide the implementation process with adherence to the Too Good Fidelity Model and Too Good Core Components.
  • The Implementation Coordinator has received Too Good Curriculum and Too Good Implementation Training.
  • Too Good lesson facilitators have received Too Good curriculum training.
  • Program materials, equipment, and space have been secured.
  • Coaching and technical assistance has been arranged.
  • Monitoring and fidelity systems are in place.
  • Communication protocols are in place to support ongoing buy-in, updates, and implementation.


Installation Goals and Activities


Goal 1: Establish an Implementation Team

Implementation Teams establish a supportive environment, facilitate the implementation process, build communication and feedback loops, prepare facilitators, and develop a site plan and communication plan for putting Too Good programs in place.  Implementation Teams typically consist of three or more full-time professionals who understand the Too Good programs, prevention education, fidelity of implementation, and organization change. 

Your Implementation Team should include a member of the administrative staff who can authorize preparations and necessary tasks and changes for Too Good program installation.  The lead person of the Implementation Team will function as the Implementation Coordinator.

Implementation Coordinator 

The Implementation Coordinator, IC, manages the day-to-day activities of the Implementation Team and will serve as its primary contact.  The IC will serve as the nexus for your implementation’s Too Good lesson facilitators, Too Good trainers, the Mendez Foundation, and your funder.  This person should have a working knowledge of the concepts of fidelity of implementation and program dosage.  The IC must be trained in the selected Too Good curricula and Too Good implementation to work collaboratively over time with the Mendez Foundation and lesson facilitators to support implementation fully and with fidelity.  The IC will be tasked with addressing any necessary adaptations with the Mendez Foundation.  The IC will work with the designated professional, usually from the funding source, for a Quality Assurance Review if your program plan requires it.

Implementation Team

Your Implementation Team should include people ready to support the IC and coordinate the following tasks:

  • Identify structural and functional changes for program to be installed (e.g., hiring lesson facilitators if your school is not using existing classroom teachers, classroom space, etc.).
  • Monitor progress, expenditures, performance, and other reporting required by your funding source.
  • Develop communication protocols (e.g., staff orientation meetings, staff meetings, ongoing buy-in and updates with key stakeholders, etc.).
  • Coordinate Too Good Curriculum Training for facilitators.
  • Provide ongoing fidelity of implementation coaching and support.
  • Data collection, analysis, and reporting
  • Lesson delivery monitoring
  • Sustainability planning

Goal 1 Activities:

  • Identify an administrator necessary to support preparations, organizational changes, and election of Implementation Team members.
  • Assign or hire an Implementation Coordinator.
  • Coordinate Too Good Implementation Training for the IC.
  • Assign or hire additional Implementation Team members.
  • Hold an orientation meeting for the Implementation Team to discuss commitment to roles, responsibilities, and tasks for program installation and implementation.

Goal 2: Prepare Site Infrastructure for Implementation

Your site has determined that Too Good is a program fit for your student needs and that your site has the feasibility to implement Too Good.  Your Implementation Team now needs to put the necessary changes in place for success.

Goal 2 Activities:

  • Determine the quarter the first full lesson delivery, including student pre- and post outcome evaluations will occur.
  • Elect or hire Too Good facilitators.
  • Coordinate Too Good curriculum training for facilitators.
  • Ensure classroom space and necessary equipment is available.
  • Distribute program kits, materials, and evaluation tools.

Goal 3: Develop Communication Protocols

Clear and free-flowing communication between the Implementation Team, site staff and facilitators, funders, and other key stakeholders is essential for ongoing buy-in and to quickly solve problems and determine if adjustments to your implementation management support system are necessary.  Keeping key stakeholders informed of the implementation progress and critical changes to the implementation plan will keep your implementation on track and on time to help you maximize performance and outcomes.

Goal 3 Activities:

  • Identify audiences who need to understand, support, and receive ongoing buy-in and updates throughout implementation.
  • Determine messages, materials, and formats appropriate for each audience.
  • Identify potential implementation challenges (resistance to change, inertia, inappropriate program adaptations, staff turn-over, etc.) and your team’s “best practices” response to these challenges.
  • Design meeting schedules for the Implementation Team, administration or other key stakeholders, and lesson facilitators.
  • Establish ongoing coaching, technical assistance, and feedback practices for your Too Good lesson facilitators.

Goal 4: Develop Data Systems, Evaluation, and Monitoring

Data systems for monitoring and evaluating lesson delivery, program fidelity, and student outcomes must be in place before students receive the first Too Good lesson.

Goal 4 Activities:

  • Establish a data system to collect, monitor, and report fidelity and student outcomes.
  • Conduct training to ensure proper use of fidelity and outcome evaluation tools.

Next Phase:  Initial Implementation

 Implementation Center Home 

 Core Components

 Adaptations Protocol