These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve
as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects
or programs may no longer be active. Read about the
criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Need: An approach to support sustained, quality delivery of evidence-based programs for youth and families in rural communities.
Intervention: PROSPER, a program delivery system, guides communities in implementing evidence-based programs that build youth competencies, improve family functioning, and prevent risky behaviors, particularly substance use.
Results: Youth in PROSPER communities reported delayed initiation of a variety of substances, lower levels of other behavioral problems, and improvements in family functioning and other life skills.
Need: To provide mental health services to rural Kansas students and their families.
Intervention: The Schools That Care project provides mental health treatment and case management as well as community education events.
Results: From 2018 to 2021, 3,456 individuals participated in health education and counseling activities offered to the public, and 964 individuals and 303 families received direct services through the Family Advocate.
Need: To improve the oral health status of children ages 3 to 17 living in underserved rural areas of Louisiana.
Intervention: School-based nurse practitioners perform oral health assessments, apply fluoride varnishes when indicated, and make dental referrals, with completion rates of the latter tracked by dental case managers.
Results: Significant numbers of school children are receiving oral health examinations, fluoride varnish applications, and receiving care coordination to improve numbers of completed dental appointments.
Intervention: Hope Squad is a nationwide program that trains youth to look after their classmates and refer those with suicidal thoughts or other mental health concerns to adult advisors.
Results: Studies suggest that Hope Squad schools' students with suicidal thoughts are more likely than non-Hope Squad schools' students to solicit help. In addition, stigma surrounding mental illness is decreasing.
Need: To increase students' levels of physical activity, engagement in learning, and academic achievement.
Intervention: With The Walking Classroom, students take a brisk walk as a group while listening to a kid-friendly, custom-written educational podcast that aligns with the curriculum.
Results: Children increase their activity level while learning academic content, building health literacy, and developing healthy lifestyle habits to prevent obesity and improve cognitive function and retention.
Need: Teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, in young girls were concerns for members of Union Parish, Louisiana.
Intervention: Union General Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital, created the program It's a Girl Thing: Making Proud Choices to teach prevention, self-confidence, and personal responsibility to teen girls.
Results: Teen pregnancy rates in Union Parish have dropped by 18%, exceeding the program's initial goal of 5%. Graduation rates have also increased the longer girls remain in the program.