Keepin’ it REAL Remote – Instructor Materials for Grades 6 – 9


The keepin’ it REAL Instructor Materials consist of ten 45-minute lessons including five videos.

Keepin’ it REAL enhances social, psychological, and emotional competencies that serve to protect youth from substance use, provides visual behavioral models, and practice opportunities for the application of skills. Utilizing a “from kids…through kids…to kids” approach, all lessons, including role-play scenarios and decision-making applications, are based on real teens’ stories. An optional booster intervention includes four 40-minute lessons teaching youth to develop their own prevention media such as posters and videos. The topics of the lessons include: Options and Choices, Risks, Communication and Conflict, Refuse, Explain, Avoid, Leave, Norms, Dealing with Feelings, Support Networks.


Keepin’ it REAL (kiR) is a scientifically proven, effective substance use prevention and social and emotional competency enhancing program designed to focus on the competencies linked to preventing substance use and abuse. Featured as a cost-effective and powerful program by the U.S. Surgeon General in 2016, this program is based on the real stories of young adolescents. Youth have opportunities to create their own media as part of the program.  The lessons are designed to promote interaction among the students as well as between the students and teachers, so that students are involved in their own learning. Students also learn how to assess risk, value their perceptions and feelings, and communicate effectively.

Evaluation studies demonstrate that kiR:
  • Reduces rates of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use by as much as 45%
  • Leads to discontinuation of use. Rates of discontinuing all substance use was 61% higher for program participants than for students who didn’t receive the program
  • Leads to more realistic perceptions of peer use, increases anti-substance use attitudes, increases efficacy in resisting offers of substances, improves relationship skills, self-awareness, and responsible decision-making.