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Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education That Works

Get Real is a multi-year, comprehensive sex education curriculum designed to be implemented in middle school and completed in high school. All Get Real lessons emphasize social and emotional skills as key components of healthy relationships and responsible decision-making. This curriculum promotes abstinence from sex as the healthiest choice for adolescents and also provides a comprehensive understanding of sexual health, sexuality, and protection methods.

Information is factual, medically accurate, and age-appropriate. Get Real supports parents as the primary sexuality educators for their children through family activities that encourage healthy dialogue about sexual health topics. This program affirms that young people have a fundamental right to honest, accurate, and comprehensive sexual education. 

Get Real values, supports, and respects adolescents’ rights and abilities to make informed choices and teaches effective communication and negotiation skills to strengthen sexual health decision-making throughout life.   

Get Real is a school-based program evaluated in a largely urban setting with a diverse student population. Get Real is suitable for all teens regardless of their sexual experience or sexual orientation. Get Real was developed by Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and published by Education, Teaching & Research. 

About the Curriculum

The Get Real curriculum is designed for secondary school-age students, and all lessons are one hour. The middle school component includes nine lessons for 6th grade, nine lessons for 7th grade, and nine lessons for 8th grade. The high component includes 11 lessons for high school students ages 14+.  All Get Real lessons are framed around the concept of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and teach five SEL skills –self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision=making – as key elements in learning how to negotiate relationships. These skills are integrated into the content of the lessons through activities and process questions. In order to ensure curriculum is age-appropriate, students must be divided by grade level for the middle school component.

Program Objectives

As a result of participating in the Get Real program, students will be able to: 

  • Connect self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship skills to responsible decision-making. 
  • Identify reasons why abstinence is the healthiest choice for youth. 
  • Identify consequences of sexual activity and ways to reduce risk.
  • Apply a decision-making model to real-life situations. 
  • Demonstrate assertive communication and refusal skills for delaying sexual intercourse and avoiding unprotected sexual activity. 
  • Increase opportunities for conversations with parents and other caring adults about personal, family, and community beliefs about sexual health.
Don't Forget the Parents!

The Get Real program recognizes parents as the primary sexuality educators for their children and encourages students to talk with a parent or other caring adult about the material covered in class. Many lessons include a take-home family activity that encourages dialogue between students and their parents and other caring adults. Parents are supported through: 

  1. Informational letters that explain material covered in class and the corresponding family activity 
  2. Strategies and tips for talking with their children about topics covered in class 
  3. Additional educational resources 

Sisters Saving Sisters

Sisters Saving Sisters is a comprehensive evidence based sexual health education curriculum designed for high school aged females of color. Sisters Saving Sisters brings to focus the disparity of HIV/STIs rates among the Latina and African American female adolescent populations. This curriculum acknowledges that abstinence is the most effective way to eliminate these risks. The culturally and gender-sensitive video clips; games; brainstorming; role-playing; skill-building exercises and small-group discussions are designed to build group cohesion and enhance the learning experience. The program’s goal is to reduce unprotected sexual intercourse, the number of sexual partners, and the incidence of sexually transmitted infections.

Following completion of the education curriculum, the youth are inducted into Sisters Saving Sisters Network and a member the Sisters’ Circle of Strength. The Sisters’ Circle of Strength is a Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast signature component. Members participate in a mentorship program led by trained health educators and are invited to out-of-classroom learning experiences and personal development opportunities. The extracurricular events allow for additional learning as well as bonding and friendship development.