TPP is a Holistic Sexuality Education program that provides an integrated, age appropriate curriculum in grade 5-10 in Geauga Public Schools. Holistic Education supports the idea that healthy adolescent development is about much more than physical considerations. This positive youth development approach incorporates emotional, social, intellectual and ethical, as well as the physical considerations in regard to relationships and adolescent development. This is represented by B.O.B. (Body On Board), our visual tool describing the whole self, including: Physical, Emotional, Social, Intellectual, and Ethical. Programs build one year upon the next to create an in depth understanding of healthy relationships, decision making, assertive communication, and critical thinking skills. TPP also offers parent programs, teen parent panel speakers, life skill and developmental asset programs, as well as resources for guidance staff, health teachers, and parents.
TPP teaches sexuality education using 4 guiding principles:
- Ages and Stages: Youth of all ages benefit from direct and honest information about sexuality. This information should be age appropriate, as well as school and community targeted. TPP feels elementary and middle school age youth do not have the cognitive and emotional maturity to “choose” sexual activity, thus in grades 5-8 only abstinence education is provided.
- Parents are Primary. Parents are the primary educators of youth on the topic of sexuality. All efforts are made to include parents in TPP programming through homework assignments, parent orientation sessions, community presentations and parent newsletter. The concept that parents are the most important source of information is reinforced throughout TPP classroom curriculum.
- Holistic Education: Quality sexuality education should be based on the holistic view of self, specifically, that all humans have emotional, physical, intellectual, social and ethical “components”. Each of these areas can be affected by sexual decisions, and each should be considered in the decision-making process. All youth can benefit from the ability to identify the risks of early sexual involvement as well as the long-term holistic benefits of abstinence and healthy sexual choices.
- Skills for Life: TPP believes that positive social skills are the basis for dealing with a wide range of influences such as negative peer influence, sexual pressures, relationship issues and personal stress. Skills taught and practiced through TPP include assertive communication, decision-making skills, critical-thinking skills and risk assessment. These skills if learned well can be applied to any type of relationship or peer pressure situation. “Just say no” is an ineffective strategy to teach young people how to cope with difficult decisions.