Susan Y. McClure , Ph.D. Psychologist
Copyright © Susan McClure, PhD, PA All Rights Reserved
Adventures on Pepi’s Island is a game-based curriculum that teaches elementary school children social-emotional skills in order to better prepare them for school and life experiences. The Pepi curriculum was authored by Dr. McClure and illustrated by her husband, Wes. It is now available as a suite of apps for mobile tablets on the Apple, Amazon, and Google Play stores.
The PASS (Pepi Assessment of Social Skills) is a free app for parents to use to rate their child on 75 social-emotional skills. It provides a profile of the child’s strengths and weaknesses and recommends other apps in the suite to help the child build skills In the areas of emotional literacy, pro-social behaviors, perspective taking, and social problem solving.
A parent, teacher, counselor, or therapist then plays the game with the child and visits one or more of four adventures, selected for skill building in the child’s area of weakness. Pepi, the savvy parrot, is the host on a virtual island with four adventure sites: Camp Insight, Behaviorland, Point-of-View Park, and Stop and Think Farm. Each site has a guide who teaches social skills and emotional intelligence (EQ), using real-life photos of children engaged in a variety of social situations. The child answers multiple choice questions and types in short answers. Children love to earn points, treasure, and badges while learning these important life skills!
The Pepi curriculum was field-tested in 2011-12 at Trilogy School in Raleigh, an independent school for students with learning disabilities. Pre- and post-assessments made by parents and teachers showed that the students achieved statistically significant improvements in their social skills and academic competence, while their problem behaviors decreased.
In 2013, Dr. McClure also taught a six-month course at SAS Institute for parents who used the Pepi program at home with their child. Parents reported that this experience had been very enjoyable and had helped them better understand their child’s social struggles.