Creating A Future Together (CrAFT)
Creating a Future Together is an initiative that addresses gaps and shifting policy in sexual and reproductive health in New Orleans. CrAFT works to create an educational and policy environment supportive of youth health and development through teacher training, research, implementing a gender-transformative sexual health curriculum, and working on statewide advocacy in coalition with other youth-serving entities. CrAFT’s goal is to improve access to, and delivery of, high-quality, comprehensive sexual health education in New Orleans. CrAFT is funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Grove Foundation.
CrAFT staff have trained nearly 100 teachers, counselors, and other direct service school staff in sex education skills to improve classroom delivery and student retention.
CrAFT staff have trained over 400 high school and college-aged students on how to use their voices to effect change through advocacy.
LOUISIANA PARENT ATTITUDES ON SEX ED
Since Louisiana state law doesn’t require schools to offer sex education, IWES partnered with the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and other local organizations to conduct a statewide polling project of parent attitudes and beliefs around school-based sexual health education. We surveyed 600 parents throughout the state of Louisiana and collected surveys with an additional 187 parents and conducted focus groups in the Public Health Regions 1 (Greater New Orleans), 3 (the River Parishes) and 8 (Monroe).
The response was overwhelmingly positive in support of comprehensive sexual health education in Louisiana schools. 84% of parents surveyed believe sex ed is an important part of a school curriculum, and 74% believe schools should be required to offer sex ed. Overall, 80% of parents believe that a sex ed program which emphasizes abstinence but also provides information on birth control should be taught in schools. Louisiana parents also overwhelmingly believe in a trauma-informed approach to sex education, with 87% of parents reporting an interest in including a focus on improving mental health and emotional wellness. We also found a clear gap between what Louisiana parents value and what is happening in schools. 61% of parents surveyed believe their child has received or will receive sex ed in schools; however, state law does not require sex ed instruction or monitor its delivery in schools, so that perception is likely incorrect.
86 health educators have been trained through WISE.
WORKING TO INSTITUTIONALIZE SEX ED (WISE)
The WISE Initiative was created to prepare our nation’s youth for life-long health and well-being. WISE is a national initiative implemented across 13 states working to develop sex education programming that is high quality and sustainable, thus integrated into the curricula and the character of school districts. IWES' WISE work includes supporting district- and charter-level policy development, providing high-quality teacher-training on sex education skills and curricula, and providing technical assistance/professional development to schools seeking to institutionalize sex education as part of their overall curriculum. WISE is funded by the Grove Foundation and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation.