PREP has a variety of couples’ content in its curricula tree. Obviously, there is the eponymously named PREP 8.0, the flag ship, most current, modular version of PREP’s relationship skills program. The focus of this post is about one of the more diversely used curriculum in our repertoire—Within Our Reach (WOR). In 2005 WOR was developed to meet the rigors of a federal government research project gauging the impact of marriage education on more ethnically and economically diverse populations. With PREP at its core, it expanded to a 30–hour program while working in more themes like partner support, couple identity development, stress management, and community connections. With a keen eye on the emerging research on fragile families and learning styles focused on a strength–based approach, WOR became our more astir couples’ content, with activities and dialogue that brought the classic PREP approach to more inviting and participatory place.
Within Our Reach
It was a hit! And we used much of what we learned from WOR and changed our teaching style which now laces all of our material. However, like with anything in our fast-evolving society, we realized that the comprehensiveness of a 30–hour curriculum wasn’t feasible for many programs that saw value in WOR. Many wrestling with what portions to slash, in the hopes of creating more realistic contact for workshops, asked us for ideas on what was essential and core to WOR.
Many programs, grantees and couples enjoyed the learning style and content of WOR, meanwhile only using 8–10 hours of the 30-hour content. While collaborating with many expert program managers and keen facilitators, we felt like we didn’t want to just cleave together a list of 4 to 5 two-hour units to meet those needs. Thusly we created… Within Our Reach Core.
Within Our Reach Core
WOR Core is a combination of the core of the PREP approach, the activities that garnered the most skill acquisition, and the learning style that made WOR so fresh and enjoyable to teach. It’s is the culmination of what is essential from what we learned and unlearned while teaching the larger WOR curriculum and streamlined to maximize usability in more time constrained programs, all the while sustaining the heart of the teaching style and content.
Whether you are using WOR and wonder how to pare down a program that is more condensed while still packing a PREP punch; or if you are considering using WOR’s approach to teaching diverse populations and haven’t heard about the keenly truncated version, have a look at Within Our Reach Core.
by Lawrence Ramos