May is Sex Ed for All Month, which is a good time to highlight how C-U Public Health provides comprehensive sex education for 8th graders throughout Champaign County through the Making Proud Choices! curriculum. They are funded by a Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grant through the Illinois Department of Human Services.
According to CUPHD, "sex education provides a foundation on anatomy, boundaries, consent, healthy relationships, and answers young people's questions without shame or judgement. It has been proven to positively impact young people’s lives. But too many young people don’t have access to sex education, or the programs in their school are shaming or inaccurate."
Sex education can be limited by where students attend school. The organization Sex Ed for Social Change reports that "17 states require sex education to be medically accurate, 9 mandate instruction to be culturally appropriate and free from biases, and 7 explicitly require teachers to portray LGBTQ+ people negatively or omit queer-focused health topics completely." Here is where Illinois stands.
This year, health educators Alyx McElfresh and Kami Lafoon have taught over 800 students in Champaign County.
Top photo provided by CUPHD.