By Stefanie Winfield, Senior Capacity Building Manager
June 2, 2016
The Summer. For students, this is the time when books get tossed in the closet or the dumpster, notebooks get recycled, backpacks get shoved under the bed and hands recover from typing and writing so much. For teachers and parents however, this is when we cross our fingers that at least some of the information that young people learned in civics class, language arts, biology and math are retained. For Colorado Youth Matter and our sexual health education partners, this is when we hope that, for their health and well-being, what students learned in sex ed sticks. Perhaps they are sharing the information they learned about how to avoid contracting an STI, or what affirmative consent is to their friends - our greatest hope is that they’re talking about their health, with peers and trusted adults, with accuracy and confidence.
While for most students the summer is a break from classroom education, it cannot be a break from sex ed. Therefore, Colorado Youth Matter has curated some of the best resources that youth can access during the summer, and really any time - winter, spring, fall, spring equinox, waiting for a doctor's appointment, maybe at the bus stop...you get the drift.
For teens up to 14:
For teens 15 and older:
- Juice Box App – you can find this in the app store.
- Laci Green Youtube Channel
- Sexplanations Youtube Channel
So, you may be thinking, “great, thanks Stefanie for offering me these resources, but how can I get the young people in my life to check these out?” Contrary to popular belief, when adults are sincere with youth, they will listen. They may not immediately jump into watching the Youtube video or exploring sex etc. But they will put these resources away and use them when they need them.
Here are some not -so-sneaky ways of letting the young person in your life know about these really helpful and entertaining resources.
- Simply tell them. Send them an email with the links or jot them down on a sticky note that they can keep in their room.
- If they were in sex ed, ask them what they learned in sex ed this past year and offer these resources for them in case they had additional questions that that they do not feel comfortable talking to you about.
- If your child has not been in sex ed, ask them if they would like sex ed. Then provide these resources they can peruse at their leisure. Of course, make a plan to talk about them later on.
Please understand that these online resources should in no way replace the conversations that you should be and are having with your children. These resources are there to support the education you are providing them at home. For general talking tips for your own information, check out our Age-Appropriate Guidelines for family and trusted adults.
This blog by Colorado Youth Matter’s Executive Director Lisa Olcese offers further support to you around having these conversations.
Summertime for young people may be a time when there’s a break from the classroom, but it shouldn’t be a break from having access to great resources coupled with honest, direct conversations about sexual health, wellnss, safety, relationships...in the best of all worlds, these are year long and lifelong!