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Building Character in NORDC Summer Camps

Launch date: June 2015 End date: N/A

Positive Action is an integrated and comprehensive program that is based on a unifying broad concept: one feels good about oneself when taking positive actions. Using cognitive techniques, Positive Action promotes decision-making skills and increases self- and community efficacy. The program emphasizes effective self-management, social skills, character and mental health, as well as skills for setting and achieving goals to encourage positive outcomes in targeted youth. 

Positive Action was piloted in the NORDC summer camps in the summer of 2015 with 560 campers. The program is being expanded in summer camps in 2016.

Why part of murder reduction strategy

Evidence shows that teaching young people social and emotional skills can reduce violence. 

Evidence base: The Positive Action program has one of the strongest evidence bases for increasing positive behavior, reducing negative behavior, and improving social and emotional learning.

Risk/protective factors addressed: Poor behavioral control; deficits in social cognitive or information-processing abilities; antisocial beliefs and attitudes; association with delinquent peers; poor academic performance

Performance indicators and results

Improved Social And Emotional Skills In Campers Taking The Positive Action Curriculum 

An evaluation of the 2015 implementation measured 18 outcomes that are tied to violence. The analysis compared mean differences in scores pre- and post- intervention for a group of campers receiving Positive Action and a group of campers receiving a comparison curriculum. Positive Action campers showed greater improvement than the comparison campers on 82% of measures, including the outcomes below.


7 Research Outcomes (n.d.). Positive Action. Retrieved from

Initiative partners

  • Curriculum Provider: Positive Action
  • Camp Operators: Friends of King Schools, Vietnamese Initiative in Economic Training (VIET), Southern University at New Orleans, L.B. Landry-O.P. Walker College and Career Preparatory High School, Delgado Community College

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