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The Update
December 19, 2019
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NOW OPEN! Call for Abstracts: 2020 Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference

2020 Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference 
Creating a 20/20 Vision: Healthy Youth, Healthy Futures
June 2 – 4, 2020
Atlanta, GA

The 2020 Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (APP) Grantee Conference is designed specifically for Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) and Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grantees to learn new and innovative strategies to effectively engage and support youth to realize positive outcomes and healthy futures. The conference will include keynote speakers, workshops, posters, exhibitors, and networking opportunities. 
The abstract submission process for workshop, panel, spotlight and poster sessions is now open! Workshops are 90-minute interactive and skills-building sessions. Panels are designed to bring multiple voices together to discuss a common topic. Spotlight sessions will be 40-minutes in length and focused on research and evaluation or innovation. Poster sessions provide a visual opportunity to share findings or lessons learned. Current grantees, researchers, program implementers, policy makers, and others from the field at large are encouraged to develop and submit abstracts related to one of the following conference tracks:

  • Track 1: Program Implementation
  • Track 2: Sustainability, Program Management, Organizational Capacity, and Infrastructure
  • Track 3: Engaging Families, Schools, and Communities
  • Track 4: Innovative Approaches and Emerging Issues
  • Track 5: Data, Research, and Evaluation

Submit an Abstract
Click the link below to learn more about the conference, tracks, and to submit an abstract. All abstracts must be submitted through the online submission form by January 24, 2020 at 11:59 PM (EST).

Submit Your Abstract
Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this exciting opportunity! Questions? Please contact 
Save the Date!
Ascend iSucceed Summit
June 25-26, 2020 
(formerly Youth Leadership Summit and Day on the Hill)

Join us in Washington, D.C. June 25-26, 2020 for our annual iSucceed Summit (formerly Youth Leadership Summit and Day on the Hill. New name, same event!)

What: Day one will offer a leadership and SRA education training and day two will allow you the opportunity to meet with your Members of Congress!

Who: Bring SRA supporters, educators, and youth leaders to join others from across the nation in voicing support for Sexual Risk Avoidance education!
SRAS Training
Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist (SRAS) certified educators distinguish themselves in their field, increase their credibility, and demonstrate a professional commitment to enhancing their teaching expertise. 

For more information on Ascend’s SRAS certification program, click here
SRAS Training Dates and Locations

SRAS Certification Training

February 12-13, 2020 ( location TBD)
Open registration coming soon

SRAS Certification Training
Minot, North Dakota
March 10-11, 2020
Open registration coming soon

More dates and locations to be added.

Has Your SRAS Credential Expired?

Stay current by completing our new online SRAS Recertification program.

If you were SRAS certified in 2017 or renewed your certification in 2017, your SRA credential expires this year!   

Not sure when your certification expires? Contact us and we'll be happy to check for you!
State News
San Diego: Sex-ed law is teaching students more than what parents are comfortable with

Protesters are demanding a change to how sex education is taught to students in California. They say a law passed a few years ago and written by local Assemblywoman Dr. Shirley Weber is sexualizing young minds.

Dozens of protesters stood outside Dr. Shirley Weber’s office downtown Friday morning, speaking against Assembly Bill 329 that was written and passed in 2015.

The bill makes it mandatory for students 7th through 12th grade to be taught comprehensive sex education.

Michigan: School board votes down adding contraceptive-based sex ed

A 9th grade reproductive curriculum presented to the Mason School Board to educate students about contraception brought about questions from board members and parents about age-appropriateness and curriculum language.

In one activity, it encourages teachers to gather ideas from the students regarding past sexual experiences including vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse. 

One board member asked, "In high school, of 9th graders, including anal sex. That's what we're talking about putting in our classrooms, that's what we're teaching and what we're allowing in class with our kids without parents necessarily knowing it?"

The proposal was voted down 4-3.

International News
Cape Town, South Africa: Minister Angie Motshekga lays down law on sex education

New ruling from the Basic Education Department mandating comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) has in recent months sparked outrage after explicit content and pictorial representations in some of its scripted lesson plans appeared in public.

After receiving textbooks on the subject, teachers expressed discomfort at teaching the material.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga issued a written statement saying teachers who refuse to teach CSE face being hauled before a disciplinary hearing by the Basic Education Department.


CDC: Adverse Childhood Experiences impact lifelong health and opportunities

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. ACEs can include violence, abuse, and growing up in a family with mental health or substance use problems. Toxic stress from ACEs can change brain
development and affect how the body responds to stress. ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse in adulthood. However, ACEs can be prevented. 

ACEs are common and the effects can add up over time.
  • 61% of adults had at least one ACE and 16% had 4 or more types of ACEs.
  • Females and several racial/ethnic minority groups were at greater risk for experiencing 4 or more ACEs.
  • Many people do not realize that exposure to ACEs is associated with increased risk for health problems across the lifespan.
Preventing ACEs can help children and adults thrive and potentially:
  • Lower risk for conditions like depression, asthma, cancer, and diabetes in adulthood.
  • Reduce risky behaviors like smoking, and heavy drinking.
  • Improve education and job potential.
  • Stop ACEs from being passed from one generation to the next.
For more information, click here

Waiting to Introduce the Smartphone: 5 Questions with Family Studies

Wait Until 8th is the brainchild of concerned mother, Brooke Shannon, who created a simple pledge to give parents a way to support each other in pushing back against the overwhelming cultural pressure to introduce the smartphone at younger and younger ages.

With over 23,000 parents in 50 states signing the pledge to date, the organization is now a full-fledged non-profit with a simple but profound message: “Childhood is too young to waste on a smartphone.”

From an interview with Brooke Shannon:
Brooke Shannon: "About three years ago, a group of parents and I started to discuss the mounting pressure to give our children their own smartphones at an early age. We questioned why so many young children at school, sports, and parties are glued constantly to their smartphones. We wondered why on earth a first grader needed the latest iPhone. We agreed that the average age a child receives a smartphone, 10 years old, is too young considering all the risks the device poses. Many of my friends said they wanted to wait as long as they could but knew it would be an uphill battle. Out of this dialogue came the idea to rally together as a community by starting a pledge. 

The Wait Until 8th pledge empowers parents to rally together to delay giving children a smartphone until at least 8th grade. By banding together, this will decrease the pressure felt by kids and parents alike over the kids having a smartphone. We are thrilled so many parents are jumping on board this movement."

Read the full interview with Brooke Shannon here. 

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