By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | May 8, 2019
Senior Editor, ETR
One measure of a successful training or conference is whether you learned something useful. Did you change your thinking? Get inspired by leaders in the field? Will you do anything differently when you get back to your work?
By any of those measures, 2019’s YTH Live conference was simply dazzling for me.
By Vignetta Charles, PhD | May 3, 2019
Chief Executive Officer, ETR
May the fourth be with you! It's a pretty awesome day for many of us at ETR because we love the chance to applaud/hail/praise Star Wars. In 2019, we are particularly celebrating how Star Wars inspires youth.
By John Shields, PhD, MSW | April 30, 2019
Senior Research Scientist, ETR
Journalist Tyler Kingkade’s recent story for The 74 is such a disturbing read that it appropriately includes this warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault involving children. Still, it’s critical that you do read and understand it. You will see that there’s an immense amount of uphill work we must do to protect K-12 students from sexual and gender-based assault and harassment.
By Amy Peterson, MSc | April 25, 2019
Strategic Development Manager, ETR
Educational equity is closely related to health equity. In fact I’d like to suggest that they are essentially inseparable—that educational equity isn’t merely an element of health equity, but that the two are inextricably linked. Put simply, one cannot exist without the other.
In 2014, I was among a group of colleagues who sought out a framework that would help us unify the work we were doing across ETR’s projects. We found that no existing framework covered all the aspects of our work so we adapted, developed and iterated to create ETR’s Health Equity Framework (HEF).
By JT Perez, Jahnell Butler, Tatyana Moaton & Camille Lewis | April 23, 2019
ETR Consultants; Prevention Educator, Alianza (JTP); Human Resources Manager for Howard Brown Health (TM); Translluminati Program Manager (CL)
How do we increase the effectiveness of High Impact HIV prevention? How do we reach the individuals and communities most at risk with strategies that work?
One of the most important steps we can take is to identify who those individuals and communities are, then engage their leaders to create and deliver prevention programs. Our group represents one approach to this strategy.
By George Weiner | April 18, 2019
Co-Founder and CTO, Power Poetry
A single poem—a simple combination of well-chosen words—can liberate a young person's soul. "A great poem is no finish to a man or woman, but rather a beginning," wrote Walt Whitman.
It is in this spirit of new beginnings that the To Be Heard Foundation (TBH) carries forth its mission: to educate youth through heightened literacy. We seek to empower youth as individuals, within their communities, and as social activists through a mastery of reading, writing and expression of poetry. The foundation sponsors the work of two core programs, Power Writers and Power Poetry.
By Tracy Wright, MAEd | April 15, 2019
Program Manager, ETR
Think about a sexuality educator you know. Think about something brilliant or inspired or compassionate they’ve done in their teaching. Think about the students they serve and what those students need in the classroom. Think about the challenges that educator faces in their school or district, community or state.
If you’re like me, what you get when you think through these things is one highly dedicated, deeply committed individual.
By Jamie Sparks, MA | April 8, 2019
School Health Program Manager, ETR
This week, health and physical education leaders and teachers from across the country are descending on Tampa, Florida. They’re heading in for the the annual SHAPE America National Convention and Expo.
I am excited and humbled that my first official convention as a part of the ETR team will also be the moment I step into my role as president of SHAPE America. Receiving the news last year in Nashville that my peers had selected me as president-elect was the highest honor in my professional career.
By Teagan Drawbridge-Quealy, MEd & MSW | April 4, 2019
Get Real Trainer, Planned Parenthood League of MA
Here in the Northeast, it feels like winter might just be fading. Spring is coming, and with spring, the end of the school year is just around the corner. For many educators the start of spring also means the start of sex education in their health classes, coinciding with the changing of seasons. Maybe there is something to the “birds and the bees” after all!
By BA Laris, MPH | April 2, 2019
Program Manager, ETR
“I was 14 and I just didn’t know…”
Many of us work with teens who face challenges because they didn’t have health information and resources they needed. We put a lot of effort into gathering our own information about their circumstances so we can offer them the best support possible.
But what do you do when you don’t know?
By Suzanne Schrag | March 27, 2019
Editor/Project Manager, ETR
If you’re an educator, you know that children and youth communicate all the time. Most classrooms and school grounds present an absolute flurry of communication. It’s no wonder the National Health Education Standards expressly include interpersonal communication as an essential element of effective health education.
This is because communicating about health, and knowing how to communicate in ways that build relationships, are distinctive skills that take practice to master.
By Ivan Garcia, with Erin McKelle | March 26, 2019
Youth Advocate and Sophomore, Head Royce School (IG) and Communications Associate, YTH (EM)
Erin: When we say we center youth-voices at the YTH Live conference, we mean it. Up to 25% of attendees and speakers are young people. We always feature a young member of our Youth Advisory Board as the face and voice of the event, in the role of emcee. This year, we are proud to announce that person is Ivan Garcia.
By ETR | March 21, 2019
Last year, ETR Program Manager Theresa Boschert wrote a post for us about smoke-free housing as a social justice issue. Smoke-free multi-unit housing is now the rule for federally funded public housing. It’s a good idea for all multi-unit housing.
In the video below, Theresa has a conversation with Administrative Specialist Crystal Mantle about why these policies are important.
By Clint Bruess, EdD and Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW | March 19, 2019
Dean Emeritus, University of Alabama at Birmingham (CB) and Sexuality Educator, Trainer and Consultant, Elizabeth Schroeder Consulting (ES)
Although sexuality education has changed significantly since the early 20th century, many of the goals still focus primarily on public health outcomes. Federal and state-level funding streams tend to focus, for example, on reducing unplanned pregnancy and avoiding STIs.
Now, don’t get us wrong—these are important parts of many sexuality education programs. If these are the only goals, however, they exclude other vital parts of who we are as human beings.
By ETR | March 14, 2019
Here at ETR, we are crazy for science. In fact, science is deeply engrained in our organizational values, which proudly proclaim that “Science is Foundational” to all the work we do.
You can imagine how excited we get about Pi Day—a day to reflect on the power, wonder and promise of science. Last year in our Pi Day post, our team talked about some of the reasons we celebrate science. This year, we’re sharing up some thought-provoking bits of scientific research that we just think are mighty cool.
By Chris Moore, MS and Rachel Erisman | March 13, 2019
Health Educator/Assistant Soccer Coach (CM) and Health & Physical Education Instructor (RE), Fort Worth Independent School District
You could call us lucky health teachers. We are lucky enough to work within the Fort Worth Independent School District. For the last several years, FWISD has put a big emphasis on professional development (PD) for its health teachers.
This has helped us become stronger and better educators. It’s helped all our colleagues—both the seasoned vets and the newbies. Most importantly, it’s creating a more engaged and energetic health education environment for our students. We have some suggestions for educators who’d like to introduce more effective PD in their setting.
By Josh Bettenhausen | March 8, 2019
Lead Technology & Marketing Officer, YTH
I’ve been working with youth-centered projects for well over a decade, both through my work at YTH and my experience as a designer. Here’s an essential point of learning from my experience: when it comes to youth, most of our assumptions are wrong. At the very least, they’re way off base, especially if we make those assumptions without getting youth directly and deeply involved in what we’re doing.
By Christopher Pepper | March 6, 2019
Health Education Content Specialist, San Francisco Unified School District
Comprehensive sexuality education helps young people make informed decisions, prevent unwanted pregnancies, and reduce their risks for sexually transmitted infections. But can it actually help prevent rape? A groundbreaking new study says it can.
By Shannon Campe | March 4, 2019
Program Manager, ETR
What do you know about badges? I’m not talking about the patch you sew on your Girl Scout vest when you’ve completed your Space Science Explorer requirements. I’m talking about digital badges that people can share widely online.
By BA Laris, MPH | February 26, 2019
Program Manager, ETR
Today, cancer is the leading cause of death of people living with HIV (PLWH). A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that between 1996 and 2009, there was a 50% increase in cancers of people living with HIV compared to the general population. Non-AIDS-related cancer deaths increased from 11% to 22%. People living with HIV had higher rates for 4 out of 5 forms of cancer.