Learn More About Five Steps to Avoid the School to Prison Pipeline

A common question that we often receive which we would like to address first: Is your curriculum evidence based?” The simple answer is NO! Here is why…

  1. We tweak the curriculum several times a year based on changes in culture, research, and feedback from facilitators.
  2. We overhaul the curriculum every year (including frequent substantive changes to the structure, or replacing activities)
  3. We don’t want to tie our own hands against improving the curriculum to react to new trends/data/needs in the communities of color we focus in.

About the Workbook

This program for urban black and brown youth offers realistic and relatable short stories and practical activities that help kids become more aware of everyday life triggers that can lead them from school to prison. It’s highly recommended for Grades 7-12, as they prepare to enter and complete high school. The curriculum is the perfect complement to other Social Emotional Learning strategies and is best used to encourage students to become more open to accepting and welcoming help of educational and mental health professionals. The curriculum combines several methodologies such as real-life topic discussions, interactive role plays and hands on activities. The Five Steps enhance self-awareness and generates thoughtful discussion with youth on commonly found real life issues seen in high crime impoverished communities.

The curriculum is most appropriate for youth ages 12-17 who journey through real life stories and questions together (with a Facilitator). The stories are based on actual events and are designed to open natural restorative conversations around real life experiences which urban youth and their families may encounter. It is a story of one family’s journey through the 5 Steps as they try to avoid the “school to prison pipeline”. The characters are 15-year-old Jaleesa, 16-year-old Robert, their Mom Latonia and their Dad Robert Sr.

Restorative conversations using the 5 Steps Workbook provides a series of preventive activities where students use real life stories to understand issues from different perspectives. Real life examples are used to help youth and parents conceptualize how their decisions can impact their future.

What are the Five Steps?

  1. Become more involved in your own education
  2. Don’t let your environment determine your future
  3. Avoid negative peer pressure
  4. Discover your purpose in life
  5. You must create a plan for yourself


This workbook is based on actual events and was written by Quisha Brown, a previous public school teacher in Detroit, MI, with contributions from mental health professionals, school staff and students.

Here is what some have said:

In over 40 years of working with Youth, I have never used a resource that captures the interests and imagination of every person in the group. Practical, thought provoking, and real! ~ Bishop Tony Russell and Pastor Valerie Russell, MAN Network

Every school with high-risk populations should consider implementing this curriculum. ~ Sylvia Santana, Michigan State Senator, District 3, Member of the Governor’s Jail & Pre-Trial Incarceration Task Force

Contact us to bring this program to your school or facility
Email: sales@youthworkbook.com
Phone: (248) 579-9423