PPLM’s educational initiatives break down barriers to information and support the health and wellbeing of people in Massachusetts and across the country. Children, teens, and adults participated in PPLM’s educational programs online, in classrooms, and in community settings, while professionals enhanced their skills through PPLM’s innovative trainings.
Kids are Asking
Carrying on its commitment to equip parents with the resources and information they need to serve as their children’s primary sexuality educator, PPLM launched a new website, Kids-Ask.org, to meet the needs of parents and younger children. Young children are sometimes left out of the conversation about sex education, but they brim with curiosity - and questions - about topics ranging from “Where do babies come from?” to “When can I date?”. At Kids-Ask.org, parents and other caring adults can build a personalized script with language that validates their kids’ questions, offers medically accurate information, and creates opportunities to share their own values.
Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education that Works for the Next Generation
PPLM completed a sweeping review of its comprehensive sex education curriculum for middle and high school students, Get Real, to better meet the needs of young people today. The updates make the curriculum more inclusive of LGBTQ+ youth, more responsive to trauma-related concerns, and more focused on conversations about consent. The revisions emphasize the importance of social-emotional learning skills, such as self-management and responsible decision making in order to build healthy relationships, respect, and empathy for others.
Sex Education for All
In October, PPLM hosted a statewide convening for professionals titled “The State of Affairs in Sex Education for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.” Nearly 100 teachers, medical providers, mental health practitioners, government leaders, and self-advocates came together to discuss the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have typically not been offered comprehensive, inclusive, affirming, and rights-based information about sexuality and sexual health. The convening’s findings and recommendations were published in a widely circulated white paper. As a result of the convening, PPLM has begun working with a co-creation team to develop and facilitate a professional training for educators and service providers titled “Sexuality Education Tools for the IDD Community,” which will be held in April 2020.
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