The goal of the Working to Institutionalize Sex Education (WISE) Iowa Project is to increase Iowa school districts’ sustainable implementation of effective comprehensive sex education that complies with Iowa’s Human Growth and Development Mandate. This mandate requires that each school board provide age-appropriate instruction to K-12 students that address life skills and human growth and development. The students in each school district are required to receive instruction on human sexuality, self-esteem, stress management, interpersonal relationships, domestic abuse, HPV and the availability of the HPV vaccine, and AIDS.
In order to do this we partner with school districts and assist them in designing and delivering research-based and medically accurate K-12 sexual health education programs that are planned, sequential, and part of a comprehensive school health education approach. We support them throughout the whole process of adopting, implementing, and institutionalizing comprehensive sex education in their schools.
The availability of accurate and complete information creates sexually healthy teens that are prepared to make responsible decisions and are more likely to succeed in school, achieve meaningful interpersonal relationships, and envision positive futures for themselves. Comprehensive sex education programs help youth by delaying the onset of sexual activity, reducing the number of sexual partners, reducing the frequency of sexual activity, and increasing the use of condoms/other contraceptives.
The Iowa Women’s Foundation’s grant funding has helped to support us in continuing our work, both by sustaining our work with the school districts we are currently partnered with, as well as reaching out to potential new districts to see how we could best assist them.
A special thank you to IWF Grant Partner EyesOpenIowa for writing this guest blog.