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Choosing the Best

Content below is from www.ChoosingTheBest.org.

Consistent with Title V Federal guidelines A-H for abstinence education, Choosing the Best curricula serve school systems and community groups, including those that receive CBAE grants. Research drives their results. An independent evaluation, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, showed that Choosing the Best reduces teen sex by 47% versus a comparison group that did not receive the program. Teachers and parents alike praise their age-appropriate materials.

Click here for the detail of each lesson presented in the following programs.

Middle School Programs
  • Choosing the Best WAY (Grade 6)
  • Nearly 1 in 10 kids reports losing virginity before age 13. Early intervention is crucial to lifelong health, and these six lessons teach abstinence as the best way to show respect for yourself and others.

  • Choosing the Best PATH (Grade 7)
  • One in 5 Americans aged 12 and up contract genital herpes. Assertiveness training in these eight lessons engages students in learning how to say NO to premarital sex and YES to healthy relationships.

  • Choosing the Best LIFE (Grade 8)
  • One-fourth of new STDs occur in boys and girls aged 15-19. Eight lessons emphasize the straight facts about health risks and give students the emotional strength and self-discipline to commit to abstinence until marriage.

High School Programs
  • Choosing the Best JOURNEY (Grade 9-10)
  • The percentage of students who've had sex increases from 28 to 44 percent between 8th and 10th grade. These inspiring eight lessons motivate students to set goals, make good decisions, develop healthy relationships, and choose abstinence.

  • Choosing the Best SOUL MATE (Grade 11-12)
  • A majority of young people believe it is a good idea to live together before getting married. Five lessons reveal widespread myths about cohabitation and teaches the benefits of marriage, valuable relational skills needed to make marriage last, and the importance of abstinence.

Why Choosing the Best Works:
Choosing the Best utilizes the following five keys to effective abstinence and relationship skills:
  • Motivational Learning environment
  • Video vignettes of real-life teens, in-depth discussions, classroom exercises and role-plays engage the students in learning. Includes examples of an eye opening, one week financial budget for a baby (food, diapers, medical care, etc.) and a typical schedule of a teenage mother attending high school (15-17 hour days).

  • Medical Learning Model
  • Current information on STDs, emotional consequences and teen pregnancy.

  • Relationship Education and Refusal skills
  • Provides students with the confidence to handle negative peer and relationship pressures. Also teaches the relationship between alcohol/drug use and reduced refusal skills. Refusal skills can also be applied to violence and gang pressure. Additional relationship training includes boundaries, male/female general communication skills, as well as conflict management skills. Relationship education can help prepare a student to become successful in all of their future social and career relationships.

  • Parent Involvement
  • Student Manual provides at-home opportunities for parent-student interaction.*

  • Character Education
  • Students are challenged to develop respect, self-respect, compassion, honesty and courage.


Rubric on Materials used in Choosing the Best

For a comprehensive review of the material used with specific attention as to how comprehensive and consistent it is with the message, review this document.

Frequently Asked Questions:
  • Isn't teaching abstinence to teens unrealistic?
  • No. Normal adolescent curiosity is a part of growing up, and the media message that pre-marital sex is expected, fun and has no consequences has a powerful influence on young people. However, when given the facts concerning the physical and emotional risks of sexual activity and the rewards of being abstinent – being able to pursue goals and dreams, often not possible with an unplanned pregnancy or disease – the majority of teens today are choosing abstinence. Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the rates of teen sexual activity have dropped by nearly 11 percent between 1991 and 2007, and that the majority of teens today—52 percent—have not had sex.

    Choosing the Best knows that not every teen will abstain from having sex, just as not every teen who knows the risks of smoking will choose not to smoke. However, the goal of abstinence education is prevention and risk avoidance, consistent with our message to teens about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Abstinence education provides teens with the facts about the negative emotional and physical consequences of pre-marital sex, as well as the benefits of waiting, empowering them to make an informed choice about their sexual behavior.

    Choosing the Best also addresses the needs of students who have already been sexually active by teaching that students can still choose—and benefit from — choosing abstinence from this day forward (i.e., “renewed virginity”).

  • Do abstinence-centered programs simply tell teens to "just say no?"
  • No, effective abstinence-centered education programs such as Choosing the Best are multi-dimensional and cover a number of critical topics in helping equip teens to make the only choice – abstinence until marriage – that eliminates the risk of STDs, negative emotional effects, and teen pregnancy. Choosing the Best offers five age-appropriate programs for middle and high school students and provides sex and relationship education content in nine areas: Risks (emotional, STDs, teen pregnancy), Rewards (decision making, goal setting, marriage planning), Relationship Education (friendships, understanding guys and girls, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, preventing sexual abuse and date rape), Alcohol (dangers of mixing alcohol and sex), Refusal Skills (setting boundaries, developing verbal skills and assertiveness skills), Pledge (making a commitment to abstinence), Character Development (responsibility, self-respect, courage, perseverance, compassion, respect), Parent Involvement (parent training and homework interviews), and Building Self-esteem (and appreciating unique qualities, interests, or skills).

For More Information, please visit Choosing the Best Website