School’s (almost) out! Where are youth getting their sex ed this summer?
By Becca Bolden, Director of Grants Management
June 1, 2017
The days are heating up and school’s out for summer! For young people, summer brings possibilities of freedom: endless time to spend with friends and partners at swimming pools, malls, amusement parks, playing video games. While students might be thrilled to be out of school, the summer months also limit their access to sex education and resources. With school out for the summer, where can students go for support?
Teachers worked hard this year to answer students’ difficult questions, provide medically accurate and inclusive sexual health information, and share resources with students to learn more outside of the classroom. A large portion of Colorado Youth Matter’s work is centered around school-based sexual health education, as schools often provide many resources for young people that they may not get elsewhere. However, youth likely will not have access to their sexual health education facilitators and trusted adults from school over the summer. As summer flings and relationships blossom when the weather gets warmer, so too does the need for medically accurate, age-appropriate, and inclusive sexual health information and resources.
Colorado Youth Matter’s Maximizing Success Project works to build stronger connections between schools and clinics so that youth can seamlessly access and get the same high quality care and resources anywhere they go for sexual health services and information. So, while youth are out of school, local clinics can support them in getting everything they need for the summer to maintain their sexual health and well-being - including STI testing, birth control, and information on practicing safe sex. Beyond the basics of access to care and resources that support sexual health, organizations accessible to youth over the summer can also play an important role in ensuring that summer relationships are consensual and rooted in reciprocal communication so that both partners are on the same page, whether they are looking for a summer fling or an endless love.
Along with youth-friendly clinics, there are a variety of other resources that you can point young people to as the summer goes on. Here are just a few of the local clinics, text lines, and online resources for young people:
- BC4U (Maximizing Success partner)
- Kids First Health CareKids First Health Care (Maximizing Success partner)
- Place Bridge Academy School-Based Health Center(for DPS students)
- Planned Parenthood
- Title X Family Planning Clinics
Remember, just because school’s out doesn’t mean these conversations need to stop. Trusted adults and involved family members can have a big influence on young people if they take the time to talk with them and hear their needs and questions in a judgement-free way. Be sure to check out our age-appropriate guidelines to get some conversation starters for the youth in your life. If you have other resources that you want youth to know about this summer, let us know and we’ll add them to our website and share on social media.
Have a safe and happy summer!