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Transitions for Middle School
Sexuality Education for Middle School Aged Youth
Young people are bombarded with conflicting messages from the media, their culture and their homes. At the same time, they are struggling with the emotional and physical changes of puberty. Transitions, our program for middle school students, helps young people sort through these messages, understand the changes of puberty, and make responsible decisions. Studies show that programs like Transitions can:
- Delay the onset of first intercourse
- Increase understanding of scientific concepts including reproduction, birth, and genetics
- Connect youth to valuable resources
The Transitions curriculum consists of a parent and teacher meeting, followed by five of sessions with students including:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Puberty (for 5th-7th grade)
- Media and Messages
- Abstinence, birth control and STD/STI prevention (for 7th-9th grade)
- Healthy Relationships & Communication
¨ Optional Lesson Part 1: HIV 101 (Must be accompanied with Part 2)
This lesson will help students gain a basic understanding of HIV and AIDS. Students will be asked to think about information they already have and where they received that information. They will be able to gain a basic foundation while challenging misconceptions they may hold that may be based on fear and denial.
¨Optional Lesson Part 2: Living with HIV (Must be accompanied with Part 1)
This lesson provides students with the opportunity to spend time listening to and interacting with a person living with HIV or AIDS. Through this experience students learn about many of the emotional, physical, and social aspects of HIV. By listening to guest educator students are also challenged to evaluate factors in their own lives that would point to a need to protect themselves from HIV infection.
Parent and Staff Meeting-‘Learning with Our Youth’
The Transitions program begins with parent and staff involvement. In this first session the director of Partners in Sex Education will visit with parents and staff at the location of the school or community agency. This meeting will serve as an opportunity for parents to ask questions about the curriculum and for Partners to explain the Transitions curriculum in the context of age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education.
Lesson One: Healthy Relationships
Transitions begins with an introduction to the curriculum and a discussion of classroom ground rules. Students are encouraged to ask questions during class and in the form of anonymous questions. Then the class discusses different kinds of communication and relationships. Students will analyze what makes a healthy relationship through considering specific issues within a relationship such as: age, communication, trust and control. Students practice skill-building techniques as they learn tools to properly handle current and future relationships. Communication skills will be reinforced through interactive activities.
Lesson Two and Three: Anatomy and Physiology
These two days include detailed and science-based explanation of sexual and reproductive anatomy using correct terms. This class will address many myths and misperceptions held by students. Participants will learn the process of reproduction and the natural physiological systems that must be in place for reproduction to occur. A portion of Lesson Three will be spent answering anonymous questions.
Lesson Four: Puberty
This lesson is designed to focus on the many physical and emotional changes that youth find themselves going through at this particular point in their lives. The lesson is designed to empower the youth as they take control of their lives through understanding what is happening to them emotionally and physically. We emphasize the fact that puberty is a normal stage that all individuals go through. This class is included in lessons for 5th – 7th grade.
Lesson Five: Media and Messages
This lesson discusses the influence of media on our cultural values about sexuality, relationships, sexual identity and appropriate behaviors. Students are encouraged to look at the many conflicting messages that we receive from our culture to analyze which if these messages may be healthy and helpful to us and which are not. Individual and family values are respected and supported. We will discuss appropriate ways to get health information. We wrap up the series with discussion and feedback.