Health & Safety Services
HIV/AIDS Education Program for Youth
Act Smart


Q: What is Act SMART?
A: Act SMART is a fun and creative way to educate young people ages 6 to 17 about the serious subject of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Act SMART is a curriculum that uses games, skits, art projects, discussion topics, activity sheets, and more to help young people ages 6 to 17 make smart decisions to prevent the transmission of HIV. It also helps them gain a sense of compassion for persons living with HIV or AIDS. Act SMART can be used with groups or individuals in or out of school.

Q: Who developed Act SMART?
A: Act SMART was developed by the American Red Cross and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Q: How does Act SMART reach such different age groups?
A: Act SMART is divided into three age-appropriate units to meet the special needs of young people today.

Unit I: Ages 6-9. Provides basic information about HIV/AIDS. Explains that people cannot get HIV from everyday social contact, such as through school and play activities.
Unit II: Ages 10-13. Teaches the difference between healthy and risky behaviors. Helps participants learn effective ways to resist pressure to have sex and use alcohol and drugs.
Unit III: Ages 14-17. Helps teenagers develop the skills needed to avoid risky behaviors and resist peer pressure. Activities focus on health, decision making, and the communication skills needed to practice healthy behaviors relating to sexual activity and drug use.

Q: Who can conduct Act SMART sessions?
A: A team of people including an adult facilitator, peer leaders, and other community volunteers. At least one of the facilitators should be a certified American Red Cross HIV/AIDS instructor. Your local Red Cross can provide a certified instructor, or tell you how to become an instructor.

Q: What kind of groups use Act SMART?
A: Act SMART is appropriate for:

  • Youth groups and clubs.
  • Day camps.
  • School health classes.
  • Community centers.
  • Residential facilities.

Q: What's in the Act SMART curriculum?
A: The Act SMART kit provides all of the teaching aids, resources, and handouts you need to facilitate Act SMART for any or all of the three age groups. Age-appropriate scenarios, case studies, and activities for groups are all contained in one package. Pages of the manual are perforated and three-hole punched for easy access and removal. A colorful poster from the American Red Cross First Aid for Children Today program visually reinforces the curriculum content for the youngest age group.

For more information please contact staff at the Greenwich Chapter.

Home Health & Safety HIV/AIDS Education HIV/AIDS Youth Education