Volunteers present Character Education programs in schools for students in grades 6-12. Each curriculum is age-appropriate and teaches the importance of healthy life choices. See below for a summary of the program for each grade.
6th – Our program for 6th grade is a class titled “Changes”. The first day of this 2-day class emphasizes changes their bodies are going through or soon will be in preparation for being an adult. On day 2, ‘Changes’ in their emotions are discussed in a fun, effective manner. To avoid embarrassment, the boys and girls are separated for this program.
7th – In7 th grade, "Healthy Boundaries", teaches students the importance of establishing healthy boundaries in order to reach goals, and developing high self-esteem to maintain those boundaries. Discussion concerning 'social media' in today's culture reveals risks and dangers many students encounter from predators to cyber bullying and how this impacts self-esteem. The most important physical boundary for teens is discussed which is 'abstinence', along with the consequences accompanying sex outside of marriage, both physical (STD's & pregnancy) & emotional, when boundaries are not firm. Accurate and factual information is shared concerning the options of 'parenting' and 'adoption' for teens finding themselves pregnant by not establishing and maintaining 'Healthy Boundaries'
8th – In 8th grade, a Pam Stenzel video, “The High Cost of Free Love” is viewed by the students. She connects with students in an amazing way while sharing crucial information. Consequences of having sex outside of marriage are emphasized and approximately 30 minutes of discussion follows on each of the 2 days.
9th – In 9th grade classes, “Decisions, Choices and Options” is presented, which factually explains the three choices of a pregnant teen. Emphasis is placed on the best option; to choose not to have sex until marriage. If abstinence is not chosen, decisions become much more difficult. Factual data is presented on the 3 options if pregnancy results:
- Parenting: Statistics for children being raised by a teen parent.
- Abortion: Fetal development and Medical/Chemical procedures (no pictures).
- Adoption: Placing a child in a family through adoption [open, closed, or semi-open]
10th – In 10th grade Health Classes, we present CDC [Center for Disease Control] statistics and information on STD’s [Sexually Transmitted Diseases]. Discussion includes breaking down the most common viruses that can be only treated, not cured, and the bacterial infections that can be cured, if they are diagnosed and treated promptly. Unfortunately, the majority of these infections have “silent symptoms” with severe consequences such as leading often times to infertility, cervical cancer and even death if not detected and treated in a timely manner. The importance of being tested for STD’s is stressed if students have been sexually active in any way. Emphasis is made on the enormous, yet factual outbreaks in Alabama and in Jefferson County. Students are encouraged to visit the North Jefferson Women’s Center for free & confidential STD testing.
11th – The 11th grade counselors allow a presentation on “Your Future”. This material encourages students to think about goals for finishing high school, 5 year, 15 year as well as 50 year goals. They also learn how to value their “never enough” time in life. Students are empowered to start managing their time with work, study and friends [especially time spent with boyfriends or girlfriends], managing their money [whether their own or their parents], and to begin taking concrete steps towards reaching their goals, both short-term and long-term. We talk in depth about character traits desired in their future spouse and what traits they absolutely will not tolerate. Discussion also evolves around what desires they choose to stir up in their bodies and how they can choose to suppress those desires. Abstinence is presented as the best choice until marriage in order to achieve goals and avoid undesired consequences.
12th – The 12th grade economics classes allow us to teach the cost of raising a child in today’s world with a presentation of “The Cost of Being a Teenage Parent”. This interactive class has the students look up costs of having and raising a baby in today's world, the direct relationship between education and job/income opportunities, and the risk of the child growing up in poverty.
**We also go into a variety of classes including Family and Consumer Sciences, Parenting, etc., where curriculum is modified or created to meet the needs of a class based on the teacher’s request. We have been asked to present classes on 'Love', ‘Dating', 'Cell Phone Etiquette' and other topics requested by teachers. These requests are honored as time permits.
If you have any questions about any of the material included in the curriculum or are interested in becoming a Character Education Presenter, please contact Shannon West, NJWC Abstinence Coordinator at: 205-808-9001.