Healthy Relationship News – February 2011


 Stories of Impact

The Dibble Institute sponsored a journal contest for young people in November. Teens who were taught Connections, Love Notes, Love U2, Healthy Choices, Healthy Relationships, or The Art of Loving Well were eligible to participate. Entries were evaluated by a committee based the curriculum’s impact on the young person’s thoughts, behaviors, and/or attitudes.

Here are the top two entries!

“On a personal note, I’ve had bad experiences in relationships before and I’m pleased to say that I found what I was looking for in a “boyfriend” about a month after participating in this course. I’ve been happy in this relationship for a couple months now and I still rely on the lessons that I learned from Love U2, along with my own knowledge, to guide me. This course taught me to learn about him before making a serious commitment and I did just that. MORE

Female, Southeast Halifax High School

Halifax, NC

Love U2: Relationship Smarts PLUS


“In my parenting and relationships class I have learned so much in such a short amount of time that has benefited me in a lot of ways.  When we learned about healthy and unhealthy relationships I quickly started connecting things.  With just getting out of a long relationship over the summer I was able to see what went wrong.  The more I learned the more I began to realize there there’s so much more to high school that grieving over someone that put you through a roller coaster of a so-called relationship.  MORE

Female, South Oldham High School

Crestwood, KY



Healthy Relationships Lessons Learned

The Dibble Institute recently hosted eight successful relationship skills instructors at a Lessons Learned meeting in Washington DC. We heard stories of great impact on youth as well as the frustration that comes from not being able to reach the young people who so need these skills.

Many thanks to the participating teachers: Bobbie Qualls, KS; Karen Bishir, IN; Elsie Radtke, IL; Kathy Olgeirsson, MI; Dennis Wilhite, OK; Tangela Frost, NC; Natalie Wilson, UT.




The Missing Link Webinar – Now online

The Extension Service webinar, “The Missing Link – helping young people get smart about their love lives” that focuses on Relationship Smarts PLUS from January 27 is now online

          • Click here for to for a link to the archived webinar.
          • Click here for the PowerPoint slides.






Let Your Heart Rule 


Join Hopeline from Verizon, Break the Cycle and the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline in promoting February’s National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month at your school by reading the National School Announcement on February 14 during your morning announcements.


The first 500 schools to register for the Announcement will receive a special “Let Your Heart Rule” Toolkit, complete with palm cards, stickers, posters and other helpful information to raise awareness among young people.


Editor’s Note: Check out their very cool “Does Your Relationship Rule” Quiz. Pass it out to your teens!



Importance of Middle School Friends 

A child’s middle school friendships may be critical to long-term academic success. According to Connect with Kids, new research appearing in this month’s issue of the Journal of Early Adolescence, the friends a child chooses in middle school can have a direct impact on achievement — and for reasons that may surprise you.




Social networking: Are virtual relationships feeling too real?

Aggressive language and cyber-bullying has become a byproduct of Internet culture, and as networking sites are becoming more popular, professionals are questioning their effect on mental health, especially in younger adolescents.

Dr. Eitan Schwarz, a Skokie, IL adolescent and pediatric psychiatrist, said teenagers need to know that they cannot use the anonymity of cyberspace to avoid personal responsibility.  

“It is easy for a kid to have this invisible shield on their computer.  It’s a feeling that no one is watching you,” he said.

“Our brains have all of these circuits so that we can form connections to others,” he said.  “Social relationships are the only reason our brain exists.  It takes experiences and a full interaction to develop.”



Save the date –

The Dibble Institute Calendar

February 9-12, 2011
National Conference on Alternative Education
Nashville, TN
Workshop: Love Notes
Presenter: Joyce Huff

March 3-4, 2011

Kansas Family and Consumer Science Conference

Wichita, KS

Presenter: Joyce Huff


April 13-14, 2011

Indiana FACS Statewide Conference 

Indianapolis, IN

Round Table: New Curricula Showcase

Presenter: Irene Varley


April 26-29, 2011

Forging the Partnership – 2011 DoD/USDA Family Resilience Conference

Workshop: Relationship Smarts PLUS

Presenter: Ted Futris, Ph.D. and Georgia Extension Agents