Peer Leaders Uniting Students (PLUS)
What is the PLUS Program?
The PLUS Program is a student leadership approach that enables schools, communities and after school programs with the tools to address the critical issues that impact positive youth development and school culture.
PLUS is a proactive youth development program which empowers youth to lead, educate, influence and support their fellow peers. The PLUS Program is one of the few approaches in education which utilizes the natural channels of peer influence to address critical issues that impact the positive youth development of our children. The PLUS vision is invested in the power of the peer group model and the sense of belonging that develops when individuals feel an identity to a group.
All activities of the PLUS Program are a result of the extensive research findings validated in the success of peer leadership programs and positive youth development approaches.
How Does It Work?
A team of student leaders are trained in the facilitation strategies to implement the activities of the PLUS Program. The foundation of this training is to utilize activities that “create a culture in kids to take care of kids”. At the center of this activity based approach is a peer-to-peer led forum of discussion. The forum provides an opportunity for young people to be empowered to engage in dialogue, bond with one another, and identify their critical issues have been shown to create a positive culture and safe school climates.
The PLUS program has been in existence in the Hemet Unified School District since the 2005-2006 school year. Middle and high school sites all have PLUS Teams, led by a teacher or counselor who serves as the PLUS advisor. The PLUS program is now part of the district Local Control Accountability Plan initiatives, with the goal of increasing student engagement, enhancing opportunities for student voice and positively impacting safe school climate.