Healthy Relationship Education Programs; year end summary FY2019-20

Choosing the Best

Description: CTB is the primary curriculum used for healthy relationship education facilitation. Over the course of 6-9 program hours, youth learn the qualities of a healthy relationship, warning signs of an unhealthy relationship, assertiveness and communication skills, responsible social media use, and about sexual health topics such as STIs and contraception and the importance of waiting until a healthy relationship like marriage before engaging in sexual activity.

Outcomes: 3,056 youth were served with the Choosing the Best series between July 2019-June 2020. 50 parents were reached with the Choosing the Best parent workshop curriculum.  2,614 students (85.5%) completed at least 75% of the lessons in their cohorts.

Of the participants, 45.6% identified as Hispanic, 33.8% as White, 9.8% as American Indian, 7.6% bi/multiracial, 2.0% as Black, 1.0% as Asian/Pacific Islander.

Story: Overcoming the isolation and uncertainty that COVID-19 brought, educator Jetzabel Ramos was able to finish facilitation Choosing the Best virtually to a 6th grade cohort at AmeriSchools Academy in Pima County. Educator Jetzabel opened up communication with the class via a fun and interactive video message which youth submitted their own video replies to. A smaller class size attended the last virtual classes together, creating a more open environment for the youth to share their thoughts on the topics. One particular activity in Choosing the Best Way stood out: Lines and Linebackers. This activity allows youth to practice their assertiveness skills in a fun and interactive way. Students come up with common peer pressure “lines” they are confronted with from peers and brainstorm “linebackers” that are assertive responses that will help them communicate effectively and stick to their values.  The activity prompted great conversations on how the youth currently deal with situations in which they want to say no and collaborate on various examples of how they could handle them. If a student could not come up with a linebacker, another would speak up and help them. The virtual lessons also allowed the youth to decompress and detangle their early thoughts and feelings attached to the stay-at-home order. They shared different ideas of how they have been keeping busy and connecting with their families, such as taking walks and picking up trash on the way, riding bicycles to nearby outdoor places with their families, having game nights and skyping with family out of town.

Curriculum info: Choosing the Best is an evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention curricula series with tailored curriculum per grade level: Choosing the Best Way (6th grade), Path (7th grade), Life (8th grade), Journey (9th-10th grades) and Soulmate (11th-12th grades).

Summer Leadership Institute

Description: This FREE summer program provides a safe and fun environment for youth to learn in detail, what makes a healthy relationship and how to succeed as a leader in their world.  Using the “REAL Essentials” curriculum and a student-led community service project, youth are provided with tools to learn skills such as how to resist peer pressure, effective communication, building healthy friendship/relationship skills, self-esteem, and goal setting. Each day’s activities provide opportunities to learn in small group and large group settings and collaborate with peers about topics and issues of interest to youth. Prizes and snacks are provided for the youth during the Institute.

Outcomes: 176 youth participated in a Summer Leadership Institute between July 2019-June 2020.

Story: SLIs were hosted for consecutive years at AmeriSchools Academy and Marana Middle School in the Summer of 2019. Between these two camps, 30 students became First Aid and CPR certified and completed over 140 hours of community service learning collectively. Activities included campus beautification projects such as painting of murals, trash/landscape clean up, planting of new trees and PSA posters that were up in time for the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

Curriculum info: REAL Essentials is an evidence-based, medically accurate sexual risk avoidance curricula. A fun and engaging curriculum specially designed to successfully launch children into adolescence. It teaches relationship skills that reduce friendship drama and enhance confidence and social success. Its unique, modular format allows for flexible, individualized use.

Wyman Teen Outreach Program

Description: The program is evidence based and designed to meet the development needs of middle and high school teens in a variety of settings, including in school, after-school, through community organizations or in systems and institutional settings. TOP seeks to build young people’s connection, competencies and skills. TOP achieves positive outcomes for youth by providing them with opportunities to learn new skills and practice them in an emotionally safe and supportive setting with caring, trained adult facilitators. The programs 4 primary goals are: improve social and emotional learning and life skills, support development of a positive sense of self, strengthen connections to others and improve academic outcomes and decrease risky behavior.

Outcomes: 256 youth participated in a TOP club between October 2019-June 2020.

Of those youth, 53% identified as female, 46% identified as male, and 2% identified as nonbinary.

67% identified as Hispanic, 11% as White, 9% as bi or multiracial, 7% as American Indian, and 5% as Black.

59% of youth were participating in TOP for the first time.

Story: During the month of December, the students at AmeriSchools held a book drive for Angel Heart Pajama Project (AHPP). The TOP clubs were able to collect and donate over 200 children’s books. Stacie Emert from AHPP was able to come to AmeriSchools and present on what AHPP does, who is affected and how the students can get more involved.

The AmeriSchools TOP Clubs dedicated a total of 6 weeks to the Canned Food Drive for Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. After a few weeks, the canned food drive was opened to the entire school, and through their efforts, over 500 pounds of canned foods were collected. Due to the socioeconomic status surrounding the school, half of the donation was kept at the school and donated to local families. After the TOP session, Mr. Bravo donated the rest of the collection to the Community Food Bank 11/20/19, and a total of 268 pounds of canned foods were donated. Upon arrival, the workers needed a fork lift to move the 2 big boxes inside the warehouse.

Curriculum info: Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP) promotes the positive development of adolescents through curriculum-guided, interactive group discussions; positive adult guidance and support; and community service learning. TOP is delivered by trained adult facilitators across a nine month period to groups of teens (called “TOP Clubs”). TOP is designed to meet the developmental needs of middle and high school teens and can be implemented in a variety of settings, including in-school, after-school, through community-based organizations or in systems and institutional settings, including residential facilities. The TOP Curriculum is focused on key topics related to adolescent health and development, including building social, emotional, and life skills; developing a positive sense of self; and connecting with others.

Loving my Future

Description The Loving My Future program fills service gaps for particularly vulnerable Arizona youth populations by introducing or expanding access to Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) education accompanied by positive youth development activities. These activities measurably reduce the teens’ risk for unplanned teen pregnancy and instigate cultural shifts away from early sexual debut. 

Loving My Future project staff members invest their professional knowledge, time and resources into six (6) targeted primary care areas whose youth populations show elevated to extreme vulnerability to unintended teen pregnancy, including youth Latino and American Indian ethnic identities, gender and sexual minority (GSM) identities, youth with dependency/delinquency court involvement, youth experiencing academic failure, youth experiencing substance use and/or mental health problems, youth living in high crime/high poverty areas, and runaway/homeless youth.

Over the 36-month project period, highly-qualified Loving My Future staff members deliver the evidence-based 13-session Love Notes SRA curriculum to high school aged youth in school and community-based settings.  Loving My Future will then strengthen the outcomes of the SRAE curriculum implementation through five months of site-based Pathways Coaching. Pathways coaching will incorporate mentoring, education and career exploration, financial literacy training, and first aid/CPR certification to respond to basic needs for safety, belonging, and competence and to interrupt pathways toward high-risk behaviors.

Outcomes

Served 210 youth using Love Notes curriculum

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