Problem Gambling Prevention Programs for Youth and College Students

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The FCCG has developed a series of comprehensive gambling prevention and intervention programs for youth and college age students.

The FCCG developed its Smart Choices program, which consists of two ready-to-use lesson plans, both of which promote healthy discussion, and includes worksheets with fun activities, as well as specially designed collateral items.

In an effort to address the issues presenting with youth involving gambling, the FCCG has developed a comprehensive Problem Gambling Prevention Program for Middle and High School Students. The Prevention Program, included in the FCCG’s Youth Toolkit for Parents and Teachers, has been approved for full-scale implementation in schools statewide by the Florida Department of Education.

Further, the FCCG has developed its college campus-wide Students Advocating for Gambling Awareness (SAGA) program. This program offers lesson plans for educators, as well as counselors and financial advisors, and furnishes materials for student-athlete coaches, peer advocates, and administrators.

Smart Choices: Grades 1st-3rd

The 1st-3rd grade program discusses the role that “dares” play among youth, reinforces the short and long-term consequences of gambling, and helps students to understand they have options and can make smart choices that will be in their best interests, even when pressured by others. Additionally, it promotes honesty as the best policy, the importance of turning to a trusted adult in times of concern, and lays the groundwork that money is not to be wasted, but saved for needs and wants.

Smart Choices: Grades 4th-5th

The program, designed for 4th-5th graders, highlights the diverse ways in which young people value different things. It also describes betting with money or other items of value as a risk-taking behavior with long-term impacts, and encourages students to think of the ways in which they spend and save money.

Youth Toolkit

The FCCG’s Youth Toolkit, Underage Gambling….It’s Not a Game, includes an introductory video about youth gambling and problem gambling, stories of recovering youth, and explains how the different program materials are intended for use. The toolkit provides tangible tools for parents, teachers, counselors and students, and furnishes insight using factual information, as well providing a counselor guide, learning exercises, the State approved Problem Gambling Prevention Program for Middle and High School Students, a video docudrama on teen betting, an interactive computer game, Dire Stakes(using the PowerPoint program), collateral materials, and more.

[IMAGE] Students Against Gambling Addiction (SAGA) - College Toolkit

Students Against Gambling Addiction (SAGA)

College students with a gambling problem can risk ruining their lives at a period in time when they are first gaining independence and self-reliance. Unhealthy decisions made by college age students can have lifelong negative impacts. The FCCG program, Students Against Gambling Addiction or SAGA, developed in cooperation with the University of Central Florida, and endorsed by the National Collegiate Athlete Association’s Department of Agent Gambling and Amateurism Activities, aids institutions in devising campus-wide programs, and provides training guides and/or training materials for college counselors, peer advocates, resident advisors, financial aid personnel, coaches, students/student-athletes, administrators, and others.

SAGA Peer Educator Program

The SAGA Peer Educator Program provides a guide for college student peer educators to increase awareness and education among other college students. Through the use of a lesson plan, screens, and various activities, students are able to discuss the dangers of gambling addiction and learn ways that they can help.

When Gambling Takes Control of the Game

The National Federation of State High School Associations teamed up with the NCAA and the FCCG to develop a comprehensive lesson plan for high school student athletes. In addition, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) has provided this lesson to its membership and strongly encourages coaches to utilize this program as well. The program provides guidelines for coaches and educators, and is designed to educate high school student-athletes on the various forms of gambling, the addictive dangers of these activities, and the possible adverse impacts on a student athlete’s education, sport, professional career, and future.

Free Training Available for Curriculum Implementation

The Florida Council also provides free training to schools in advance of curriculum implementation to improve the awareness and prevention capabilities among school staff. Such training is provided at no cost to school districts and universities. While the programs are designed to enable educators to conduct lesson plans without outside assistance, prevention program training sessions are an option if desired, and vary in length depending on the institution or district’s program implementation plan. For more information, please contact the HelpLine.