What is BABESWORLD?
BABESWORLD is a total systems approach to the prevention of substance abuse. It utilizes a comprehensive training program targeting and integrating multiple systems (youth, families, schools, media, community organizations) with the multiple strategies (providing accurate information, life skill development, facilitator training’s, an impetus to change community policies and norms) required to create the environment which allows youth to lead healthy, drug-free lives.
The dream of BABES WORLD is to be to Prevention what Alcoholics Anonymous is to Recovery; a program which (1) works; (2) is easy to learn and implement; (3) is universally applicable; (4) is affordable; and (5), generates within participants zeal sufficient to expand it.
BABESWORLD is the natural progression of BABES (Beginning Alcohol and Addictions Basic Education Studies), the primary prevention program founded in 1979, which by 1988 was reaching move than one million children in forty states and four foreign countries each year. BABESWORLD views substance abuse prevention efforts as a part of a broader, generic health promotion and disease preventing effort.
Goals of BABES WORLD include:
- Communities of people living, loving and working together to create an environment where all, especially children, feel safe, loved and protected from substance abuse.
- Public and private collaboration to share responsibility and provide sufficient resources.
How is BABESWORLD organized?
The BABESWORLD model mirrors the oldest known societal model – the family. BABESWORLD Family Member classifications include:
- BABES – All children who receive BABES lessons and apply BABES principles in their lives.
- Presenters – Those who have been trained to provide lessons.
- Buddies – Presenters’ Assistants and others who help.
- Trainers – Adults who train others to be Presenters.
- Activists – Individuals who aid BABES by advocacy and funding.
- Guardians – Community Groups creating and nurturing a BABES Community – a municipality or neighborhood where BABES life-styles prevail.
- Godparents – Organizations promoting, monitoring and nurturing BABES activities in large areas (a region, or state).
Together these family members become part of a larger BABES Community. So how do you build a BABES Community? A Community Action Planning worksheet is available to assist groups. It calls for these steps:
- Develop a Community Action Plan including identifying funding sources.
- Conduct a Community Awareness Campaign involving various community segments.
- Brief educators, police, parents and others in a Prevention Education Training.
- Implement BABES in the P-12 Curriculum in schools.
- Implement Positive Parenting Training.
- Provide BABEST ART in treatment settings and BABESKIDS in alternative sites.
- Implement the Community Modules.
In the BABES lessons, Donovan Dignity, the wise owl, repeatedly suggests: “It’s as easy as 1-2-3”. In essence, building a BABES Community requires a small group of enthused adults who serve as council and act as guardians to develop the best way to create an environment free of abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Strategies for accomplishing this are made available through Godparents in various areas.
Why a BABESWORLD?
The earlier a youth begins to drink or use other drugs, the greater the likelihood of developing other drug problems,
Alcohol abuse is involved in up to 60% of all murders, 20-40% of suicides, more than 70% of assaults, 50% of rapes and 40% of child abuse fatalities.
Greater savings in lives, dollars and suffering can be made with effective prevention programming beamed to children and youth. As with all education, it must begin early and be continuous.
This calls for concerted effort by all segments of the community – schools, businesses and other groups, especially parents and children.
- BABESWORLD provides the methodology to bring together these multi-faceted systems into a single unit that can effectively eliminate substance abuse. This unit is called “The BABES Community.”
- BABES in the Schools – A P-12 curriculum, broad-based and designed to teach general life/coping skills with a wide range of applications, as well as situation and problem specific approaches, is the basic element of BABES. There are four modules, each a series of seven lessons in story form, illustrating basic living skills, enlivened by seven puppet characters with clearly defined personalities representing various prevention concepts. By utilizing story-telling, enhanced with puppets, “the child with” every student is reached immediately.
- BABES is a multi-media curriculum presently including 29 stories covering real life problems gathered from over 1,000 pre-school thru high school youth. Basic BABES, the first module (developed and piloted in 1979-81), is the program core, for children 3-8. Children of all ages are fascinated by the colorful puppets, songs, work sheets and other activities bringing to life the characters Buttons and Bows, Myth Mary, Donovan Dignity, Early Bird, Recovering Reggie and Rhonda Rabbit.
- Intermediate BABES (ages 9-13) and Advanced BABES (ages 14-18), teach older children the use of BABES principles. In these modules, the basic living skills introduced in Basic BABES are repeated with the characters “growing up,” facing problems typical for their age groups, including suicide, pregnancy, death and dying, rejection, and the need for refusal skills.
- Pre-School module, designed for 1 1/2-3, also is available.
- BABES and the Family – Recognizing the parent as a primary preventer of substance abuse, Family BABES provides prevention techniques for use by parents with emphasis on developing positive parenting skills. It utilizes the same basic living skills introduced in Basic BABES, story-telling format, and the basic characters plus their parents.
- BABES for Clinicians – Expanded versions of Basic BABES are created especially for use by therapists in clinical settings. Each utilizes ten additional puppets and 22 new stories.
- BABESTART is for use in clinical settings with the entire family.
- BABESKIDS is for use with very young children in group therapy to aid then in coping with abusive or chemically-dependent home situations.
- BABES in the Community – A BABES Community is a group of people living, loving and working together to create an environment where all, especially children, feel safe, healthy, loved and protected from substance abuse. Building a BABES Community is a component designed to show community groups how to use BABES to organize an entire community to combat alcohol or other drug abuse, and related problems, including child abuse. This component is comprised of the following modules:
- BABES Alive! is an awareness stimulating sing-along musical with life-size dancing BABES characters.
- BABES in Government offers guidelines for support by various units and agencies of government.
- BABES in Business shows businesses how to participate in Building a BABES Community.
- BABES in Church provides suggestions and guidelines or church group involvement.
- BABES in Social Agencies demonstrates the various ways the mutual efforts of agencies can produce the desired drug-free community.
- BABES and the Media emphasizes the importance of media in creating a BABES Community and how media can help make BABES in the community a success.
Who represents BABESWORLD?
Of the more than 2,000 Presenters of BABES, about an equal number are teachers, counselors or parent volunteers. BABES Family Members also include police officers, social workers, and school nurses.
More than 400 Native American adults are BABES presenters and translations have been made for Hispanic children. BABES is also being used for both the sight and hearing impaired.
Though BABES appeals to youngsters, it is not just for children. Presenters report learning and implementing BABES has changed their own lives. Older adults, especially, have found themselves replenished by “doing” BABES.
Where does the funding for a BABESWORLD community come from?
Sources of funding include businesses, service clubs, churches, foundations, school boards, United Way organizations, volunteer adults who pay their own expenses and government agencies utilizing substance abuse prevention allocations. Building a BABES Community requires training adults and equipping them with BABES kits. Some BABES organizations had to start small, by first becoming visible in their communities. A marvelous way to raise dollars is to involve the Community is a fund raising campaign selling “Myth Mary’s Mini-Meals”. These are packages of fruit and nuts that are free from refined sugar and harmful preservatives. They are named after Myth Mary, the character, who is a squirrel and also president of the Babes Club.
What is a Godparent?
A BABES GODPARENT is an organization that negotiates an agreement with the BABESWORLD Home to promote, monitor and nurture BABES and its activities in a given geographical area. Its primary function is the development of BABES Communities in its area. These organizations should already be established with a commendable record for community service in some aspect of prevention or treatment of alcoholism or other drug dependency.
The National Council on Alcoholism – Maine, the National Council on Alcoholism – Orange County .(CA), the Community Resource and Recovery Center of Mahoning County (OH), Greater Indianapolis Council on Alcoholism, Inc. ‘” and Milwaukee Council on Alcoholism are among the agencies functioning as BABES Godparents. It is the responsibility of the Godparents to insure the highest standard of quality for BABES. For information on whether there is a Godparent in your area, contact BABESWORLD Home, BABES Marketing Department, at (313) 833-3962.
The Godparent Agreement includes provisions to generate funds for program development. If you are interested in becoming a Godparent, Click Here.