Project Cuidate

Luz Southside Partnership –> Project Cuídate

Project Cuídate

Contact: Jason Gutierrez, Program Coordinator
E-mail: [email protected]

Luz Southside Partnership
3819 South Evans, Suite 304
Tucson, AZ 85714
(520) 294-7620
(520) 294-1142 fax

Project Cuídate is a three-year science based prevention program funded by the Governors Office of Drug Control Policy and is designed to reduce and prevent substance abuse, gang affiliation and violence among youth. The project began in September 2000 and is currently in its second year. Project Cuídate is composed of two science-based “Best Practices” called Life Skills Training (LST) and SMART Parents. The LST program is designed to affect drug-related knowledge, attitudes, and norms, while Smart Parents focuses on educating parents on how to reduce teen vulnerability to drugs and sexual involvement.

Program Summary:
The goals of the program are to decrease substance use within the targeted population and to develop the personal and social skills of middle school students. The programs objectives include:

  • Teach prevention related information to students.
  • Promote anti-drug norms.
  • Teach drug refusal skills.
  • Increase self-esteem and confidence levels amongst students.

Smart Parents is one of Smart Moves’ (a substance abuse prevention program) seven components. Smart Parents is an eight-hour curriculum that provides accurate information about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD), adolescent sexual development, and sexual behavior. Most important, the Smart Parents program allows parents the opportunity to explore how they (parents) and community members can work together to prevent youth substance abuse and sexual involvement.

The target population for the LST program includes students between the ages of 11 and 14 that reside in the Southside area of Tucson. This area is defined by the boundaries of Los Reales to the South, Speedway to the North, Santa Cruz River to the West and Country Club to the East (see map). The Target population for the Smart Parents program includes parents, guardians, and any significant adults in the lives of Southside youth.

Currently the program is being implemented at Wakefield Middle School and pending future meetings it will also be implemented at teen centers such as El Rio Neighborhood Center. Recruitment for SMART Parents is currently taking place and will remain ongoing until numbers are satisfied.

Thus far, Project Cuídate has reached over 300 students and 100 parents. As measured through pre- and post-test evaluation(s), the results of the program have been favorable. For example, the students that completed the curriculum at Guerrero Middle School showed positive success in reducing the willingness of students to use Alcohol, wine, hard liquors, cigarettes and Marijuana within the next year.