How are FREED small-group sessions different from assemblies?
Assemblies are designed to provide general information to a wide range of people. Typically, assemblies are attended by students and adults and are relatively short in duration. FREED assemblies work well when time constraints are a factor. Assemblies typically target an entire grade level or division, providing a primarily didactic presentation. Often assemblies include PowerPoint presentations but rarely include group activities or time for Q&A.
Small-group sessions are designed to explore topics at greater depth and are more interactive. This format works well in conjunction with an ongoing in–house health or psychology class. Participants have time to ask questions and to explore topics with their peers.
Multi-day small-group sessions are designed around presentations, activities and discussions. Students are given time to digest new information and learn new skills.
Multi-day small-group sessions are comprehensive and work best when the adults in the community are offered educational sessions concurrently.
What is the ideal small-group size? How should they be grouped together?
Twelve to 25 students per group is an ideal number, especially for multi-day programs. There are enough students for meaningful discussion and activities, but not so many that students feel they can’t get their questions answered.
We have found that students attending FREED programs participate most when attending as a group they are already a part of such as their health or English class grouping. Providing FREED programs in the framework of the existing routine greatly simplifies the scheduling process and minimizes attendance issues.