Heritage Community Services, in partnership with the Texas Department of State Health Services, presents Evidence-Based Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) Training

Texas Dept of State Health ServicesHeritage Community Services

By Christine Kalmbach

After an objective review by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Sexual Risk Avoidance abstinence curriculum, Heritage Keepers, has been approved and found effective in delaying sexual initiation among youth. The curriculum is offered by Heritage Community Services located in Charleston, SC.

The rigorous program design involved 2,215 youth in 7-9th grades. Findings showed that those receiving the Heritage Keepers curriculum were significantly less likely to initiate sex than a comparison group at the 12 months follow-up.  The study reports,  “Sexual experience increased from 29.1% to 33.7% for the program participants, and from 29.2% to 43.2% among the comparison group.”

Information about Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education:

  • It is the only A-H consistent abstinence-until-marriage program recognized by the US HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) on their list of the 31 proven-effective evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs.
  • It has been reviewed by US Office of Population Affairs, Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and approved for medical accuracy.
  • Additionally, in September 2013, the Medical Institute for Sexual Health also reviewed and approved the curriculum for medical accuracy.
  • In September 2013, the National Abstinence Education Association reviewed and approved the curriculum for meeting the federal Title V, Section 510 A-H requirements for abstinence education.
  • The curriculum has been reviewed and approved for being inclusive and non-stigmatizing towards LGBTQ youth.
  • The curriculum has been reviewed and approved for compliance with federal regulations prohibiting support of programs that promote religion or abortion.
  • The curriculum is compliant with the SC Comprehensive Health Education Act and compliant with SC Health Standards

Extensive behavioral studies indicate that a year after Heritage Keepers®, program students initiated sex at a rate 67% lower than well-matched non-program students. This particular study was of 2,215 students in 41 SC schools, and the population of the study was 63% African American. Strong program outcomes have been found across age, gender and race in rural, urban and suburban settings.

“It is important to understand what works in empowering youth to eliminate the risks of teen sexual activity. The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is committed to promoting research that can inform this goal. We congratulate Heritage Community Services on their success in impacting the lives and sexual health of youth, “ stated Valerie Huber, Executive Director of  NAEA.
The Texas Department of State Health Services is offering FREE Heritage Services training with your reservation (space is limited).

Tuesday, February 25 through Thursday, February 27, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm each day

Agenda/Topics Covered

Tuesday

Introduction to Evidence-Based Programs, Levels of Intervention, Psychosocial Mediators, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Behavior Change Model, Emotional Intelligence, Hardwired to Connect, Emotional Life of Boys, Social Intelligence, Self Efficacy, Primal Leadership, Biology of Love, Denial-Cultural and Personal, Benefits of Marriage, Impact of Fathers, Monitoring Fidelity, and Evaluation

Wednesday

Curriculum Overview of Heritage Keepers® Abstinence Education, Rationale and Predictors of Abstinence, Values and Goals, Dice Game, Anatomy, Birth Video, Sex is Like Fire, Marriage Fireplace, STD Presentation, STD/Pink Water Demonstration, Role-Plays, Love-Lust-Infatuation, Perfect Person to Date vs. Perfect Spouse, SAFE Plan, Imagine Your Wedding, Commitment Cards 

Thursday
Application of theory and methodology to the curriculum

Who should attend?

Public and private school educators, youth leaders, community agencies that serve youth, youth and family  counselors, health providers and advocates, parent leaders, and those in related fields.
Seating is Limited!

Georgetown ISD: SIECUS and TFN’s Next Target?

Looks like Georgetown ISD is next –

4/10/2013 Wednesday Update in the Williamson County Sun posted –

“Major changes could be in store for Georgetown ISD’s sex education program, a member of a citizens committee tasked with reviewing the curriculum said this week. Former Mayor MaryEllen Kersch, who sits on the committee, said the increase in the number of sexually transmitted diseases in Georgetown from 2007 to 2011 shows that public schools are failing to properly educate teenagers about safe sex. The number of cases of Chlamydia and gonorrhea in the city’s two largest zip codes jumped during that period from 112 to 174, according to data provided to the citizens committee. Officials said that increase cannot be attributed to population growth alone.”

Georgetown ISD currently uses Scott & White’s Worth the Wait Curriculum in the Middle Schools.  The 6th graders receive the age appropriate version in their PE classes while 7th and 8th graders receive the instruction in Science.  All instruction is done by Georgetown ISD teachers and coaches.

The accusations that are being made against the current curriculum follows the pattern of many Districts in Texas as the Texas Freedom Network’s SHAC Initiative is being executed to ‘advocate change for sex ed’ in Texas.  The concerns also follow the SIECUS Community Action Toolkit recommendations.

Most likely discussions in the Georgetown ISD SHAC have resembled some or all of the following:

  • requirements of ‘evidence-based’ curriculum,
  • demands of discussions on comprehensive sex education,
  • declarations that the current curriculum is medically inaccurate and full of factual errors, and
  • accusations that the current curriculum and any abstinence based curriculum are fear and shame based.

The Texas Freedom Network is also working very diligently to make sure that SB 521 and HB 1057 do not pass.  These bills prohibit abortion providers or affiliates from providing instruction and materials in Texas schools.  A few of the curricula that are proposed as solutions MUST have relationships with abortion providers!