Insights learned in clinical treatment of kids with sexual behavior issues can have value for children and families in general. That’s the thinking that powers a new curriculum for middle-school students created by Terry Sears, LCSW, Clinical Manager of KidsPeace’s Sexual Issues Treatment and Education (SITE) Program.
“I was contacted by the Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School in Bethlehem to do presentations to their 5th through 8th grade students. The people at the school had worked with our SITE team in the past, and thought we could give their students an educational/preventative experience grounded in our work with teens in the clinical setting,” Sears said.
Sears developed a curriculum for the target grade levels regarding issues of personal space/boundaries, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, cyber-safety, sexual harassment (including “sexting”), and the consequences of inappropriate behavior. She spoke at assemblies for the students in each grade, where the information was presented and questions were asked and answered.
“It was a new and exciting opportunity to reach other youth who aren’t in our program, in a creative way that hopefully will have a positive impact on their lives,” Sears said. “Another very positive outcome was that nearly all parents of the students supported the initiative, and I was able to offer tips and information for parents that the school could share with the families as well.”
Sears credited KidsPeace’s willingness to allow her to explore and take advantage of this opportunity to extend the KidsPeace mission to more people. “Our hope is to include this educational component for other schools as we update our SITE Program Description, so that we can continue to spread our mission in the future,” she added.
“The information you provided was helpful and is a great preventive tool for our students. The presentation was informative, dynamic and targeted to our student audience. Thanks to your presentation we are well informed and knowledgeable of various topics and issues that would not be addressed in our day to day work…”
– Sonia Sarmiento, MSW, Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School
For more information about SITE and its outreach to schools, contact the program at (570) 342-5444.