KISSN AbstinenceJun. 08, 2010
The Pregnancy Resource Center of Metro Richmond is hosting Presenter Training for KISSN (Keep It Simple, Say No) on Saturday, July 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Richmond. This training is for anyone who wants to become a presenter of the KISSN abstinence curriculum. Topics covered in the curriculum include "Building Healthy Relationships," "Love vs. Infatuation," "The Myth of Safe Sex," "Secondary Virginity," and "The Freedom of Abstinence." Programs like KISSN are especially vital in a culture in which 50 percent of high school students were reported to be sexually active in 2009, according to the Center for Disease Control. Worse yet, a Virginia based abstinence group reports that almost 70 percent of central Virginia high school seniors are sexually active and, of that group, 50 percent became sexually active between the ages of 13 and 15, and 22 percent before the age of 12. Abstinence is the only effective, 100 percent method to prevent STDs and pregnancy.
But these horrifying statistics aren't the only reason the KISSN and similar curricula must be taught to teenagers: The federal government recently made changes in abstinence education funding. These changes affect Virginia because, typically, this funding is in the form of state grants that states must choose to either accept or decline. Keeping true to his campaign promise, President Obama introduced a budget in the spring of 2009 that included a clause eliminating nearly all abstinence education funding and replacing it with so-called "comprehensive sex ed" funding. However, approximately $50 million was reallocated to abstinence funding during the Congressional health care bill debate — one of the few positives in that process. Currently, the federal government is providing state grants for all forms of sex education.
In 2007, then-Governor Tim Kaine, at the urging of Planned Parenthood, cut off state funding of proven abstinence-centered education programs, such as KISSIN. In fact, the second largest school district in Virginia, Prince William County, had contracted with KISSIN because of its effectiveness. The funding has never been restored.
Changes that occur on the federal level regarding abstinence education funding trickle down to the state. However, Virginia must also do its part to ensure that only fail proof sex education is presented to our youth. We encourage you to attend the KISSN training on July 17 to support a worthy organization and to learn more about an important abstinence curriculum that you could implement in your church or school.
To register for the KISSN training, please contact Sher Aker by July 9 at 804-673-2020 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a $35 registration fee to cover the cost of the curriculum's manual and for lunch.
While "Waiting For Superman" Is A Hit, Virginians Still Wait For School ChoiceMay. 27, 2010
We've said it before and we'll say it again: school choice is coming to Virginia. The questions that remain are "When?" and "How?" There is no "if." In fact, it's not just The Family Foundation (and the public via polls) in support of school choice. It's the mainstream media and Hollywood!
Last Sunday, CBS' 60 Minutes aired a piece on the SEED school in Washington, D.C. SEED, an urban public boarding school similar to charter school initiatives, first opened its doors in 1998. It immediately gave inner city students a chance at educational success that they normally would never think to dream. In a community that normally graduates only 33 percent of its high school students, 97 percent of SEED graduates are accepted into college. Due to its overwhelming success, SEED began another school in Maryland and is working with Ohio and New Jersey to begin schools in those states.
Sewing SEEDs of education and opportunity: 60 Minutes spotlights a success government-run schools couldn't replicate with all the tax payer money in the world.
In fact, SEED has been so undeniably successfully, it has been heralded by the Obama administration as a "true success story." Even another notoriously liberal institution — Hollywood, of all places — has noticed: The directors of Al Gore's climate change conspiracy film, An Inconvenient Truth, have produced a documentary entitled Waiting for Superman (see Variety review) in which an underprivileged student hopes to win a drawing for a slot at SEED in order to get the opportunity for academic success — and a change in life. Waiting for Superman received the Audience Award for Best U.S. Documentary in this year’s Sundance Film Festival and will be released in theaters this fall. See the trailer below:
A Washington, D.C. student waits for Superman. Virginians still wait for even modest education choice.
As SEED clearly demonstrates, contrary to testimony and liberal senators' reactions in the Senate Finance Committee this past General Assembly (if you haven't yet, you must see this, click here), the benefits of school choice cross racial, socio-economic and political party lines. School choice is the obvious solution for many families. Why has Virginia waited so long to adopt this common sense approach?
This past session, Delegate Jimmie Massie (R-72, Henrico) introduced a bill (HB 599) that would have created a tax credit for businesses and individuals that donate to scholarship funds for children attending K-12. Carefully designed to be fiscally neutral to the Virginia and fiscally positive to localities, this bill would have created a way out of failing schools for low-income families. In partnership with Delegate Massie, The Family Foundation will work this summer to build an even broader coalition of support for school choice initiatives and will once again push for educational freedom next session.
The 60 Minutes segment and Waiting For Superman prove an undeniable truth about human nature: The young naturally are curious and want to learn. Unfortunately, there's a counterbalancing truth as well: Government wants to control and, to that end, provides obstacles to freedom — and its people suffer.