Health Rocks! focuses on life skills and decision-making development to reduce tobacco, alcohol, and e-cigarette/vaping use.  The interactive lessons and the power of youth/adult partnerships help instill in participants the confidence and communication skills necessary to develop internal strength to resist risky behaviors.  Additionally, lessons are included to equip youth with healthy ways to manage stress and maintain overall physical and mental health.

For Teachers

Collaborating with Illinois 4-H is an extraordinary partnership that seamlessly weaves together experiential learning, positive youth development, and research-based programming. This partnership introduces you to a realm where learning standards spring to life, and students are equipped with skills that extend far beyond the classroom.  Our programs provide the resources to cultivate an environment where students flourish. For in-depth program details and training inquiries, we're here to assist you.

Key Concepts

  • Communication
  • Healthy Living
  • Leadership
  • Personal Development
  • Personal Safety

For Youth Grades 3–10

The overall objectives of Health Rocks are to:

  • Reduce youth smoking and tobacco use
  • Help youth build life skills that lead to healthy lifestyle choices with special emphasis on youth smoking, vaping, and tobacco use prevention
  • Help youth understand the influences and health consequences of tobacco, drug, and alcohol use to make healthy choices
  • Engage youth and adults in partnership to develop and implement community strategies that promote healthy lifestyle choices and increase understanding of the negative impact of risky behaviors on individuals and the communities
  • Youth will develop strategies to recognize, understand, and manage potential levels of personal stress using mindfulness techniques and engaging in activities that focus on positive youth mental health


For more than 20 years, Health Rocks! has been helping youth make healthier life choices.  The 2020-21 program resulted in the following positive changes in youth behavior:

  • 94% demonstrated a high level of social and emotional thriving.
  • 93% intended to avoid underage tobacco use.
  • 93% disapproved of underage tobacco use.
  • 90% expressed an intent to pursue healthy behaviors and avoid risky behaviors.
  • 83% disapproved of risky behaviors (i.e., alcohol and tobacco use).


Staff must participate in Health Rocks training and/or orientation before program implementation.  While not required, they are encouraged to engage teen teachers in the delivery of the program content. A plan for suggested teen teacher training will be provided.  

The curriculum can be implemented in various programs, such as school enrichment, after-school programs, clubs, camps, and community sites. 

Family  Life

Nutrition & Wellness

Community Organizations including other youth serving organizations; schools; and local civic groups

UIUC College of ACES Department of Human Development & Family Studies