The Anna Burdick Lalor Program of the Lalor Foundation has awarded Healthy Futures of Texas $15,000 for an innovative project to co-create a sex ed program for young women with young women. This marks an important shift in sex ed curriculum development towards involving young people as equal partners in creating programs that will be used by young people.
Healthy Futures staff and a group of young women will train together on curriculum development strategies, then develop a project together based on an analysis of the gaps in the programs currently available. Program Director Anthony Betori anticipates that this will be a digital product.
"In the COVID-19 crisis, the need for accessible sex ed products of high quality has become very clear. We are taking cues from our Big Decisions remote implementation adaptations, as well as the amazing work the BAE-B-SAFE team has done to bring their programs online for the Alamo Colleges," Betori said. "It will be up to the young women on the project team to determine what exactly that looks like, but I expect a digital product is likely. It's also a way we can ensure everyone's health and safety during development."
Once the curriculum product is developed, the young women will determine the dissemination and evaluation strategies for the project. Then, finally, staff and youth will use evaluation data to complete a final product. Healthy Futures plans to make this the first of several similar curriculum development projects with target demographics of young people.
"I'm excited to collaborate with young people on addressing their needs," Program Coordinator Eleni Pacheco said. "I've gone through the process of writing a lesson plan, piloting that lesson plan, finding the weak areas, and wracking my brain on how to make it more engaging or more accessible. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have that perspective at the drawing board with me!"
The generous funds from the Lalor Foundation will specifically support training the young women and compensating them for their time, as well as materials and other agency costs associated with the project.
Young women and other organizations interested in participating in the project, as well as anyone with any questions or suggestions, are welcome to contact Program Director Anthony Betori at email@example.com.