Newsletter: December 2007

Building Relationship Skills NewsletterDecember 2007Dear Friends,

As we wrap up this year, I’m pleased to report our federally funded Healthy Marriage Demonstration grant successes.

Over 100 of you were nominated and received a relationship skills curriculum to teach to the youth that you serve through our First Comes Love program. As a result of your efforts we will reach over 6,200 youth in 33 states and Puerto Rico.

Thanks to the great support of the Departments of Education in Indiana, North Carolina and New Hampshire, The Dibble Institute trained 344 Family and Consumer Science teachers in The Art of Loving Well, Connections or Love U2. These amazing teachers will help us reach an additional 9,000 students in those three states.

Our two grant partners, FCCLA and The National Campaign, were invaluable in our success as well. FCCLA produced a classroom poster and one hour lesson plan called, “Me, You, Us”. So far over 400 FCCLA Advisers have signed up to teach the lesson to 30 teens each. And, that gives us an additional 1,200 teens who will begin to learn that relationship skills can be learned.

The National Campaign conducted teen focus groups, online surveys, and a national telephone poll to understand what teens are thinking these days in terms of romantic relationships. The results are published inKiss and Tell – What Teens Say about Love, Trust, and Other Relationship Stuff.

The Dibble Institute also developed a Dating Violence Protocol to help instructors of our programs to spot warning signs of abuse and respond appropriately. We also adapted a fact sheet about dating violence for teens themselves from the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. We are pleased to make these two resources available to others in the field to help keep our teens safe.

We are reaching over 15,000 teens with healthy relationship training thanks to you…the teachers, youth agency professionals, and other instructors who daily both teach and demonstrate the skills needed for building healthy relationships. We appreciate your good work and thank you!

With all warm wishes,

Kay ReedExecutive Director

Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant Number: 90-FE-0024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

New Report Examines Drop Out Rates for Girls

The National Women’s Law Center has released a groundbreaking new report entitled: When Girls Don’t Graduate, We All Fail: A Call to Improve High School Graduation Rates for Girls. The report shows that one in four girls drops out of school, and that one-quarter to one-third of these dropouts say that pregnancy or becoming a parent played a part in their decision.

Female dropouts earn lower wages than male dropouts, are at greater risk for unemployment and are more likely to rely on public support. Specific proposals to help reduce dropout rates, include:

• Providing additional support for pregnant and parenting students.• Conducting more gender-based research and developing targeted intervention strategies based on that research.• Increasing school accountability for dropouts.• Protecting students from sexual harassment and bullying, and teaching them how to report sex discrimination.

If you are concerned about the treatment of pregnant and parenting students at your neighborhood school or if you have stories to share about the dropout crisis, contact the National Women’s Law Center

For more information, or to download a copy of the report, visit the Healthy Teen Network

The Dibble Institute for Marriage Education is a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to helping young people learn skills which enable successful relationships and marriages.  We serve as a nationwide advocate and resource for youth marriage education and publish materials which help teach relationship skills.  The Dibble Institute is non-religious and nonpolitical.  Our activities are funded through sales of educational materials and services and through support from foundations, corporations and individuals.