Experts in the Field

Find out how Lesson One has…Increased test scores…Increased time-on-task learning…Improved classroom learning from and independent evaluator.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

Read Lesson One’s evidence-based evaluation from SAMHSA


Jon Oliver’s entire career has been an expression of his passion for helping children and adults learn the practical skills necessary for happy, healthy and productive lives. His work is a model for the entire nation. I’ve seen it; it works.
—Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Lesson One helps adults and children stay connected through stories and experiential activities. Having worked extensively with children and adults diagnosed with ADHD, I know the methods, ideas and skills provided can help children focus, calm themselves and learn to achieve both in the school and home setting.
—Dr. Edward Hallowell, Author, Driven to Distraction

Lesson One can be integrated into the classroom setting to help children develop and practice the social skills that help them avoid violence and other risky behaviors that destroy young lives.
—Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D., Associate Dean, Harvard School of Public Health

With humor, astounding insight, and sensitivity, Jon Oliver, children’s advocate, educational reformer, “hero,” provides parents and teachers with ways to help children develop critical life-skills. The strategies and activities for promoting self-control, self-confidence and personal responsibility shall surely contribute toward a more civil and respectful community.
—James Alan Fox, Ph.D., Lipman Family Professor of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University

I have spent a fair amount of time over the last two years reviewing what programs are addressing youth violence and crime…One or two things stand out from all that review. ‘Lesson One’ is one of them.
—Philip B. Heymann, Former US Deputy Attorney General

Through stories, activities, lessons and practical advice, Lesson One: The ABCs of Life offers a useful approach for adults to use in helping children to find success in virtually every form of endeavor. Built on sound principles and effective educational strategies, Lesson One: The ABCs of Life helps adults to help children develop tolerance, listening skills, appreciation for diversity, problem-solving, cooperation, and self-confidence. The strategies are simple and easy to follow, and apply to home and community life as well as in the classroom. Lesson One: The ABCs of Life is an effective and useful educational tool for all of us who aspire to help children become successful and contributive adults.
—Tom Payzant, Professor of Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Lesson One is not only educators and parents but for anyone looking for a concrete guide to promote human development. As a therapist the ideas of self-control, and personal responsibility are most relevant. What I like most are his suggested activities, which I have already utilized in several of my therapy groups, not only with children but adults. Sharing stories and even using television as an opportunity for important discussions are just a few of Lesson One’s practical suggestions.
—Michael Brody, M.D., Chair Television and Media Committee, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

It is with great enthusiasm that I endorse Lesson One: The ABCs of Life. Lesson One provides adults with a thoughtful and entertaining approach to one of life’s most important jobs: helping children successfully navigate through their childhood.
—Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston

Before Lesson One was implemented at South Lexington Elementary School, there were 1,400 office referrals. After one year the referrals dropped to 125. After two years, 10 students were sent to the office. In addition, before Lesson One, our reading scores were 68 and math scores were 53. After Lesson One, they improved to 70.1 for reading and 84.1 for math.
—Jackie Miller, Principal, South Lexington Elementary School, Lexington, NC

As a result of Lesson One, teachers who once spent 80% of their time on classroom management and 20% on teaching, now spend 80% on teaching and 20% on classroom management. Before, we used to spend a lot of time on discipline and now we spend less time on that and more time on educating.
—Helen Apostolides, Consultant, Massachusetts Department of Education

We recently had our Parent/Teacher Conferences at Bedford Village Morning School. An impressive 95% of the parents, through their own initiative, brought up and discussed Lesson One and the positive effects it has had on both the children and their families.
—Sue Tyree, Pre-School Director, Bedford Village Morning School, Bedford, NH