Primary Project

If you know a child who appears to be having challenges in the classroom, Primary Project may be the solution.

Our Primary Project program has helped over one million children in 2,100 schools adjust to classroom environments.


  • Teachers and parents of children who may be having school adjustment challenges in preschool through 3rd grade


  • Detect school adjustment difficulties early
  • Children develop a school-based, trusting relationship with an adult
  • Reduce social, emotional, and school adjustment difficulties
  • Enhance learning skills


  • Reduces negative adjustment behaviors
  • Improves children's self-confidence, social skills, learning skills and other school-related competencies
  • Allows school mental health professionals to focus on children who need more intensive interventions

How It Works:

  • Early screening detects school adjustment difficulties
  • Children meet weekly with highly trained and supervised paraprofessionals (called child associates) in a playroom setting
  • The child sets the pace with the child associate supporting and reflecting on what the child says and does to reinforce and build on the child’s strengths
  • Ongoing consultation and program evaluation allows for continuous improvement

Training Opportunities:

  • Ongoing training opportunities available for teachers & educational staff, Primary Project supervisors and child associates, and Primary Project preschool sites.

Awards and Recognitions:

  • Designated a "Promising Prevention Program" by the U.S. Department of Education's Safe, Disciplined and Drug-Free Schools Expert Panel
  • Recognized as one of five exemplary prevention programs in the nation in Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (December 1999)
  • National Mental Health Association's Lela Rowland Award for Outstanding Prevention Programs (1989)
  • Validated through New York State's Education Department as a successful program

There is consensus among experts that Primary Project is an exemplary program based on evidence available from decades of evaluation and research on Primary Project. Primary Project is highlighted by the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practice (NREPP), a service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The searchable online registry shows mental health and substance abuse interventions that have been reviewed and rated by independent reviewers. SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.



(585) 295-1000 (phone)
(585) 295-1090 (fax)
(877) 888-7647 (toll-free)



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