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Lake Cumberland District Health Department

A healthy today for a brighter tomorrow.

Positive Potential

Positive Potential is a curriculum developed by A Positive Approach to Teen Health. This curriculum encompasses a variety of age-appropriate subjects, such as bullying, self-confidence and risky behavior that are tailored to the students’ needs as they grow and mature.  Positive Potential is a curriculum specifically tailored for students in grades 6-8 and is based on several Theoretical Frameworks.

The Positive Potential Curricula was developed to inform and inspire students to recognize their full potential and to obtain the skills to reach it. Positive Potential is a highly energetic, motivational curriculum that is unique in the following ways:

  • Positive Youth Development principles (including providing medically accurate information on risk behaviors) have been implemented to produce a curriculum geared at reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors for adolescents in middle school.
  • Using lessons learned from other research-driven, evidence based curricula, youth and community input from a variety of audiences through focus groups and student and teacher feedback forms, experienced researchers and curricula developers involved in
    the development of its theoretical framework while also piloting the program to make adjustments using student and teacher programmatic feedback; and linking learning objectives to national standards for middle school health programs.
  • Positive Potential is a comprehensive youth development curricula that can be used or adapted in any program setting whether in a school based, after school, community based setting.


Positive Potential challenges students to think ahead concerning things like discovering their interests, planning their career, and deciding what to look for in a mate. Students learn the value of putting a plan in place that will allow them to achieve their dreams responsibly while giving all they have to make it happen. Positive Potential challenges them to overcome obstacles, avoid risky behaviors, and get back on track when those detours become seemingly unavoidable. Students are also encouraged to do their part for the good of the greater society, which in turn will build toward creating a better country, and a better world.


Through Positive Potential, we encourage young people to be proactive in understanding their purpose and find ways to discover their hidden talents. Positive Potential helps students understand that by doing their part they are actually building character, integrity, and a sense of belonging and community for themselves and their fellow students. Maturity often comes with experience and a strong sense of responsibility. Positive Potential sees the need to teach responsibility and strives to meet it!


Positive Potential recognizes positive behavior in students through reinforcement and seeks to empower them to become self-determined and competent, pushing them to reach their full potential. A popular cliché states “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Potential goes undiscovered when challenges go unmet. How can one know their potential if they’ve never properly responded to a challenge? Positive Potential provides examples of peer pressure scenarios that students may encounter in the future and then challenges them to develop an exit strategy to escape those pressuring circumstances. Many students are often unaware of their capabilities because they’ve never really had the knowledge or understanding of how to deal with issues such as drugs, alcohol, bullying, self-respect, and more. Positive Potential empowers students to stand up for what they believe and to get back on track when detours become unavoidable.


The primary goal for the Positive Potential program is to provide information that will enable students to understand that they are valuable and that attached to that value is purpose. We believe that each and every one of the students has a significant role to play in society. Furthermore, we want them to acknowledge that if they can just catch a glimpse of who they really are and discover what they are capable of doing, they can have a vision to succeed, thereby creating a positive legacy. When a student has the understanding that every decision, they make can have an effect on one if not all of The Five Parts to their Whole Person (Physical, Emotional, Mental, Social, and Spiritual) combined with their understanding of value and legacy, their chances of success in life are greatly improved. But how will they know what to do? Positive Potential provides them with the necessary skills and tools to use when faced with common every day challenges. By incorporating refusal skills and reinforcing positive youth development, the students can become more confident in themselves and in their ability to take on life’s greatest challenges.

Positive Potential Comprehensive Youth Development Curriculum includes:

  • 6th grade – Be the Exception – Recognizing your value and shaping your future by making positive choices
  • 7th grade – Push the Limits – Breaking through obstacles, reaching your goals and building your legacy
  • 8th grade – Unstoppable – Recognizing potential risk, setting appropriate boundaries and obtaining your full potential.


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