Newsletter: April 2007

Building Relationship Skills NewsletterApril 2007Dear Friends,April is National Library and National Poetry Month – a terrific opportunity to include literature based relationship education in your youth curricula! We have found literature based programs to be highly effective with teens.Adolescents are inherently impetuous, impulsive, and often irresponsible, but they are also idealistic and impressionable, and their relationships are of paramount importance to them.  The challenge is that teens need the most support just at the time they are struggling to make the transition between childhood and adulthood and are most likely to resist adults’ guidance.  We know that ‘preaching’ at them doesn’t work, but the vivid characters and thought provoking situations of compelling stories provide engaging and comfortable points of departure for adults and teenagers to have important conversations about the potentially embarrassing topics of love and sex.To help you tap into this rich teaching opportunity, The Dibble Institute is pleased to offer materials and training inThe Art of Loving Well, a best practice literature based program from Boston University that teaches healthy relationship skills to youth.With all warm wishes,Kay ReedExecutive Director____________________________________________________________________The Art of Loving Well – Dibble Institute training and professional development now availableThe Art of Loving Well is a nationally acclaimed, literature based relationship skills curriculum which has been field tested and successfully taught in grades 7 – 12 in a broad range of language arts, English, health, counseling and family and consumer science classes since 1987.  Loving Well empowers teens by honing the full range of communication and critical thinking skills, but it is also skill-based in a much broader sense.  The text and teacher guide are filled with such concrete activities as rewriting a discussion to defuse anger, providing sound advice to a friend in trouble, and tending a colicky “egg baby” for four days.Loving Well stories and poems explore universal human emotions and challenges. Experience shows that students, even students who struggle to read, are so intrigued by the stories that they read more than are assigned because the topics are so relevant to their lives. These stories teach constructive ways to resolve conflict; they teach about self-knowledge, feelings, and character; and they give language to key concepts. They also cultivate an appreciation for important communication skills like reflecting before acting and agreeing to communicate precisely, fearlessly and kindly. For more information about The Art of Loving Well, visit  To learn more about Dibble Institute training and professional development in The Art of Loving Well, visit the Date!  May 2 is The National Day to Prevent Teen PregnancyThe National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy will be launching a new public service ad campaign for teens on May 2 as part of the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.  The new series of ads, tied together with the theme “Stay Teen,” is an innovative approach to delivering a teen pregnancy prevention message to young people that will work well in the media environments where they spend the most time: on TV, online and in print media.  Stay Teen’s central idea:  You’re a teen.  Stay that way. As part of your national day activities, consider encouraging the youth you’re working with to enter the MySpace/Stay Teen contest.  Stay tuned for information and more details.____________________________________________________________________First Comes Love – Grant UpdateThe response to our First Comes Love project was terrific! FCL programs are being implemented in all regions of the country from Alaska to Puerto Rico. Current statistics:

  • Number of teachers involved in the grant:  96
  • Number of students targeted by these teachers:  Over 6,000
  • Number of states in which projects are being implemented:  32
  • Number of programs being implemented:
    • Love U2®:

Relationship Smarts                                                 27Communication Smarts                                           16Baby Smarts                                                             11

    • Connections:

Dating & Emotions                                                   22Relationships & Marriage                                         18Relationships & Marriage (Spanish edition)               3

    • The Art of Loving Well:                                                  1

We wish the first comes love participants all the best and look forward to hearing of your success! Together you will be reaching over 6,000 of our teens!Funding for this project is provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: 90FE002401.____________________________________________________________________New!  Dibble Institute Training websiteThe Dibble Institute Training website has been updated and augmented with helpful step-by-step advice that makes it easy to assess your training or professional development needs, create a plan of action and estimate a budget. Come check it out at! From Char KamperDrawing on her work in Connections, Char Kamper has just released “One, Two…I Do!” a new ecumenical program for teenagers.  In 16 lessons, it helps teens understand the theological principles that direct a faith based life and promotes the view that a meaningful relationship with God will influence the quality of other life relationships including marriage. For more information, visit