(Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)
By John Henry Ledwith | September 14, 2015
Senior Sales Manager, ETR
When I think about the teachers who’ve been part of my family’s life, I’m endlessly impressed with the dedication and heart they’ve brought to their classrooms. My kids grew up in K–12 public schools. More than once, I’ve stood in awe as I watched a gifted teacher grab kids’ attention, inspire them, guide their learning and still manage to maintain some semblance of order within those classroom walls.
What prepares teachers to deal with the intensity of child and adolescent growth and development? There is probably no other profession where we expect people to cover so much ground with a population of such varied ability and drive.
I had a conversation with an old friend the other day that really brought this home.
By Narinder Dhaliwal, MA | September 8, 2015
Project Director, Calfiornia's Clean Air Project, ETR
Hookah. The very word brings a sense of excitement to the minds of many young adults. Not only can they sit around a table among friends and smoke, they can share this beautiful, ornate device that makes it an extra-special experience!
What was once a cultural tradition dating back 500 years in Middle East regions of the world has become a trend. It’s “cool,” “sexy,” “fun,” “relaxing.”
By Tanya Henderson, PhD | September 3, 2015
Program Director, Community Impact Solutions Program, ETR
In my companion blog post, “HIV and Older Adults: 6 Steps to Building Better Awareness,” I discuss some of the issues we need to address if we want to succeed in HIV prevention efforts with older Americans. However, no understanding of these matters can be complete without the voices of people living the reality of being over 50 and coping with HIV.
I am extremely grateful to three people in that circumstance—Vanessa, Ed and Kathy—who took the time to share their experiences with me. Here are some of the things they had to say.
By Tanya Henderson, PhD | September 3, 2015
Project Director, Community Impact Solutions Program, ETR
September 18 is the 8th annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD). NHAAAD focuses on the challenging issues facing the aging population regarding HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment
The campaign, spearheaded by The AIDS Institute, seeks to:
At ETR’s Community Impact Solutions Program, we think it’s also important for everyone of every age to understand the message that unsafe practices can put anyone at risk for HIV. Whether you’re young or old, your age will not protect you.
By Dan Rice & Nicole Cushman, MPH | September 1, 2015
Director of Training, Answer & Executive Director, Answer
The writing is on the screen! Technology has enabled us to access information in myriad digital forms and changed how we interact with the world around us.
Today, people turn to the Internet for everything from personal and professional correspondence to researching the latest trends. Educators are no exception. They’re searching for new ways to integrate technology into the classroom to further engage their students in all different subject areas. Many are also looking online for the most up-to-date professional development opportunities.
Why are so many professionals seeking out online professional development?
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | August 27, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR
Heard any good stories lately? Particularly about the work you do and the positive impact your organization has in the world?
Here at ETR, we’ve been thinking about these kinds of stories ever since we read Joan Singson’s blog post on Storytelling for Sustainability. We decided to do an all-staff activity where we explored some of the stories we have to tell about ETR’s work.
We had a couple of main goals. One was to emphasize that we are all evangelists for the cause. Every person on our staff has an opportunity to share these stories with family, friends, colleagues in the field, potential funders, future employees and many other people whose support for ETR could be important.
The other was to enrich our own organizational culture. The story I tell about an impact my team has had, and the pride we feel about it, belongs to everyone in the organization. If it’s a good story, others can tell it too. And the perfect opportunity—the partner, funder or interested member of the public who would love to hear this story—might come along at any time.
By Eloy Ortiz, MURP, & Yethzéll Díaz | August 25, 2015
Research Associate & Research Assistant, ETR
Math Pathways is a longitudinal study that aims to understand how relationships influence Latino students’ mathematics beliefs and achievement during the critical transition from elementary to middle school. Our goal was to recruit and survey 300 mother-child pairs from a rural, predominantly Latino farming community at four different time points over 18 months. Over the process of designing, implementing and refining our recruitment and retention efforts, we have established best-practice standards that have contributed substantially to our retention success.
Gathering the data for this research study has involved three major efforts: recruitment, scheduling and data collection. Here, we highlight a few of the practices that have stood out during the implementation of the project.
By Monica Sun | August 20, 2015
MPH Student, Tulane University | 2015 Kirby Summer Intern, ETR
Currently, there is heated debate on how colleges are handling campus sexual assault cases. One in every 4 or 5 women (between 20%-25%) will experience a sexual assault during her academic year. Nearly 5% of college women will face this experience in any calendar year. These statistics emphasize the significance of the issue and the importance of finding mechanisms to reduce these rates.
Within the U.S. Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate have introduced bills (H.R.1490 and S.706) that require colleges receiving certain types of federal funding to designate an independent advocate to oversee campus sexual assault prevention and responses. A bipartisan group of representatives has just introduced a bill (H.R.2680) designed to remedy the tendency of colleges to cover up and under-report incidents.
It’s not only the government that is trying to improve efforts of colleges to effectively investigate sexual assault cases. Many organizations are developing mobile apps for students and young adults to use to protect themselves with the involvement of the community.
By Susan Telljohann, HSD, CHES | August 18, 2015
Professor Emeritus, Department of Health Education, The University of Toledo
Something quite remarkable has occurred over the past two decades in the field of school health education. We’ve gotten evidence!
We’ve explored, examined, tested and refined everything we know about how to provide meaningful, effective health education in school settings. We know enough now to design and deliver programs that have a true impact.
And now we have a whole lot of programs to choose from. Evidence-based. Evidence-informed. Theory-informed. Traditional. Flipped. Innovative and exciting, but unproven.
How do schools committed to program success choose the program that’s going to work best in their setting?
By Vignetta Charles, PhD | August 17, 2015
Chief Science Officer, ETR
At a recent meeting with others working in the nonprofit world, I was telling colleagues about an Action Alert I’d just received. It was sent out by one of the many advocacy listservs to which I subscribe. The people at my lunchtime table all reeled in horror.
“You can’t do that!” they exclaimed. “That’s lobbying. You’re federally funded.”
I’d heard this before. I responded with what I know to be true, but what my colleagues so often are unsure about. Namely, I can absolutely receive the Action Alert at work. However, I cannot take any action on it, such as lobbying, on my federally funded time.
That said, as a voting citizen of the United States, I can go home and, in my non-working hours, tell my elected officials how I, as their constituent, believe they should respond to the particular piece of legislation. Actually, I can also do this at work if I have private or unrestricted funds that allow me to take this action without violating any 501c3 regulations.
So why are my colleagues so uncertain, or even fearful, about being advocates?
Suzanne Schrag | August 13, 2015
Editor/Product Manager, ETR
John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight segment on Sex Education has certainly been getting some air play around the country, as well as here at the ETR offices. If you haven’t yet seen it, it’s well worth watching. (Note: Language may not be suitable for work—use your headphones just in case.)
Oliver points out the glaring inconsistencies in what young people in the United States are being—and not being—taught about sex. He offers up a very funny video at the end of the segment that would truly be a huge improvement to many of those that have been shown in sex ed classrooms across the U.S.
There’s plenty of bite, of course, in pointing out what’s not working, or what’s just plain wrong, about sexuality education in this country. But what is the best way to give kids the straight-up facts in a manner that will actually shape their choices and influence their behaviors?
By Kieren Jameson, MLIS | August 10, 2015
Digital Solutions Manager, ETR
For most of my career, I've been a tech worker in nonprofits. I’ve worked mostly within majority-women workplaces. That means that I've seen more women in leadership and technology-related roles than is the norm in corporate America.
I think this is why, until the past few years, I’d completely missed the appalling lack of ethnic and gender diversity in STEM-related workplaces.
Once I opened my eyes and looked beyond my sheltered nonprofit world, the numbers were pretty clear. This is what they tell me: we have a serious diversity problem in tech.
By Joan Singson | August 6 2015
Program Manager, ETR
A lot of different stakeholders play a role in sustaining effective programs. You need them to understand in straightforward terms what it is you do and exactly why that’s important. You need them to stand ready to be your program’s advocates and champions.
Infographics, icons and beautiful presentations of data are all popular ways to do this, but I think the most powerful way to inspire people is through a story. A darn good story.
What does it take to thrill the heart and chill the spine? Let’s take a look.
By Dan McCormick, MHA | August 3, 2015
Chief Executive Officer, ETR
This has been an exciting few days for ETR as an organization. We’ve officially teamed up with Select Media to become one organization. We’re looking forward to putting the resources of both organizations to work promoting healthy behaviors in communities across the nation.
Select Media has been a publisher and distributor of a number of the evidence-based programs on the list provided by the Office of Adolescent Health. Now, all of these resources will be available through ETR’s online store, along with the evidence-based programs ETR has been developing and distributing for more than three decades.
By Rebecca Shemesh | July 30, 2015
ETR Consultant Trainer
This activity can be easily adapted for use as an opener, energizer or closer. It gets participants up and moving, interacting with each other and rocking to your own special playlist. It’s a great way to build excitement at the beginning of a training day, help participants reinforce learning in the middle, or consolidate learning and intentions at the end. Highly adaptable and lots of fun.
By Brittany D. Chambers, MPH, CHES | July 28, 2015
Doctoral Student, University of North Carolina, Greensboro | 2014 Kirby Summer Intern, ETR
When you think about adolescent pregnancy, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Most people think about the negative issues.
Research shows that adolescent pregnancy alone is not the cause of these factors. Why, then, do the majority of prevention efforts use “victim blaming” approaches to address the issue?
By ETR | July 23, 2015
We’re excited to introduce three new designs in our popular condom holder series. If you distribute condoms through your clinic or program, you can now wrap them up in a packet that promotes a great health message.
They make it clear that affirmative consent—yes means yes—is sexy!
They promote three smart steps to fabulous, safe sex: communication (check), consent (check), and condom (check).
And they encourage condom users to carry those jimmy hats with pride!
By Gina Lepore MEd | July 20, 2015
Research Associate, ETR
Yes means Yes. Yes, I want you. Yes, I want this. Yes, I want to be here. Yes, I am consciously choosing this now. Yes, I respect your boundaries. Yes, I will ask if I am in doubt. More, please!
Last September, California became the first state to pass legislation that sets a new standard for sexual consent on college campuses receiving state funding for financial aid. This legislative act followed policy changes on consent at several universities across the country. Systems have continued to adopt affirmative consent standards, including the State University of New York (SUNY) system.
Although considerable progress has been made in recent years in supporting survivors of assault, the same is not true when it comes to changing attitudes and beliefs about the abusive approach to sex that causes assault in the first place.
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | July 15, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR
Yesterday, I heard that the United Nations had met their goal to treat 15 million people with HIV before the end of 2015. Officials were pleased to have reached this point early. The report also mentioned drops in the number of new cases and reductions in worldwide deaths from HIV.
There’s actually all kinds of encouraging news about the HIV epidemic. More people are accessing treatment, people with HIV are living longer, cases among children are down by 58%, tuberculosis-related deaths among people with HIV are down, and investments in prevention and treatment are up.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says we are on our way to an AIDS-free generation, and we can end the epidemic by 2030.
Like many others in the health care and prevention education worlds, this kind of news feels personal to me.
By Tamara Neff, MA | July 13, 2015
E-Learning Curriculum Developer, ETR
As technology is further integrated into our daily lives (and our very beings), so it has become an essential part of the learning experience. We see it from early childhood development on through emerging K-12 education standards. We find it in popular online higher education and professional development programs.
Technology continues to enhance and improve the quality and quantity of learning opportunities available to an ever-widening population of learners. This is true to such an extent, the “E” in E-learning is becoming redundant. Many of us in the field might assert that it already has done so.
By Laura Perkins, MLS | July 9, 2015
Project Editor, ETR
Laws on the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. are changing rapidly. Since 1996, 23 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized the use of marijuana to treat some medical conditions. A number of states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. And now Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults over 21. The public health implications within this changing landscape are only just beginning to emerge.
By Erin Cassidy-Eagle, PhD | July 6, 2015
Director, Research, ETR
It’s almost time for bed and you get that sinking feeling in your stomach. Will it be like last night? And the night before? And the three weeks before that?
Sound familiar? If it does, you are not alone. An estimated 50-70 million US adults have sleep disorders. Older adults are much more likely to complain about trouble sleeping. Poor sleep in older individuals is also a risk factor for a range of other concerns, including declining cognition, depression and greater functional impairment.
By Debra Christopher, MSM | June 30, 2015
Director, Professional Learning Systems, ETR
OK, I admit it. I’ve been around for awhile. I taught health education in the classroom for four years early in my career. Then I made a shift, and for the past 25 years I’ve worked to support adult learners who deliver health education programs to youth.
The essence of my mission: create change (in adult instructional savvy) to create change (in youth behavior).
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | June 26, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR
It has been a momentous morning. My wife and I took an early hike. We were out on the trail when we got the text from @HRC about the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. “Reply w/pics to show how you’re celebrating,” they asked.
We grinned. We cried. We took a selfie out there in our little patch of wilderness. And not surprisingly, we both began a survey of our lives, and this struggle, where we’ve been and this place we’ve come to now. Change is powerful stuff, for a person and for a nation.
By Michael Everett, MHS | June 24, 2015
CEO, Intimacy & Colour | Consultant, ETR Community Impact Solutions Project
We all know what it feels like to sit in the back of the room, praying we don’t get called on by an instructor. Or feel too afraid to ask a question despite the depths of our confusion on a given topic.
The culture of asking in this country is a complex one. On the one hand, as a greater society we believe in the power of help. Look at our public health policies, free HIV testing or charitable organizations. Even the values we learn in kindergarten—“Clean up the play area together”—promote helping.
On the other hand, we are not as hard wired to ask for help as we are to provide it. So this begs the question—what is our big “ask” problem?