Students in a Community Involvement course focused on sex education met with Planned Parenthood Rhode Island to learn about sex-related health problems and needs in their community. While young people in the community needed “safe sex” education, Planned Parenthood was having difficulty finding student volunteers to participate in its Peer Educator program. Knowing that young people would be most receptive to sex education coming from peers, the students decided to do a service-learning project with Planned Parenthood—educating community youth about safe sex practices.
The students began by participating in Planned Parenthood’s Peer Educator program, in which participants spend several weeks learning about safe sex practices and sexually transmitted diseases. After completing the program, the students brainstormed potential topics and formed small groups to work on particular issues.
Each of these groups did focused research and planned workshops to share information with their peers in the community. To prepare for their presentations, the students studied presentation and leadership styles and did dress rehearsals for the whole group, adjusted their presentations according to the group feedback.
The students presented their workshops to students at their school and other area schools, students and teachers at KIDS Consortium’s Student Summit, and participants at a local World AIDS Day event. The students also hosted a Pregnancy Prevention Day at their school. In all, the students educated over 300 area teens about safe sex practices!