The non-profit organization, More than Sex Ed (MTSE), will hold a 36-hour, age-appropriate workshop on human sexuality for eighth- and ninth-grade students to discuss and share their own views in a circle of peers.
The workshops begin on September 8, and continue on consecutive Sundays through December 8, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at Rosewood in Topanga.
MTSE’s highly trained facilitators are skilled at engaging young teens to articulate their values and recognize a diversity of opinions.
“Sexual messages are everywhere today. Kids deserve real conversations about what healthy sexuality means,” says the MTSE press release.
An article in the Messenger Mountain News (“Navigating the Complex Landscape of Human Sexuality,” by Claire Fordham, April 5, 2019), quoted Emmalinda MacLean, co-founder, program director, and lead facilitator of MTSE.
MacLean says that “risk-taking sexual behavior has moved online and into digital spaces. Concerns about pornography and sexting are valid, and it’s something we spend a lot of time on.
“Sex Ed in schools is also a mixed bag. Lots of schools still offer little to no real-life information, and many still spread messages that are rooted in guilt, fear, and shame. That’s not our style,” says MacLean.
“Active, ongoing communication from your teen, including telling you when they make poor choices, is the best a parent can hope for.”
Topanga Mom, Jessie Zaud, recalls the time, two years ago, when she and her son attended the workshop:
“When I brought my son to his first MTSE class two years ago, there was a lot of grumbling in the car ride. He was nervous about going. I was afraid I had signed myself up for a bunch of extra work trying to get him involved in the class. By the second class, the car ride was quiet, he hopped out and ran into the class at Rosewood, no complaints.
I realized it was more like a fun teen club than a sex-ed class, and that helped him invest himself. Most parents I know have already spoken to their kids about sex. In fact, kids today know so much, but the best part was knowing that my son was talking about intimacy and sexuality by relating to his peers, not just me as his parent, and with highly qualified guides present. I felt such relief and gratitude. A year later, I saw a text conversation where my son respectfully handled some pretty aggressive sexual peer pressure and I was so proud of him.”
The 12-week workshop begins Sunday, September 8, 3.30-6.30 p.m., at Rosewood in Topanga, 1111 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290.
To enroll your eighth and ninth graders in the September workshop series, and for more information about MTSE, visit www.morethansex-ed.org.
“More Than Sex-Ed welcomes donations from the community so they can offer a few scholarships for the teen workshops to qualified families. “At $375, the teen course may be expensive for some but we hope all interested can join regardless of finances,” said MacLean.