Newsletter: July 2009

Building Healthy Relationship Skills Newsletter – July 2009

  • Dibble awarded Community Champion award
  • Dibble curricula wins AEP award
  • Teen “Sexting”: what you need to know
  • Tips for talking to teens about sexting – two new resources!
  • NEW teen relationship website from First Things First
  • The Dibble Institute calendar

Dear Friends,I’m pleased to announce two recent awards that The Dibble Institute has received in the past month.First, we’re thrilled that Love U2®: Relationships Smarts PLUS has received the prestigious 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award for curriculum based teaching aids from the Association of Education Publishers (AEP). The AEP Awards recognize the year’s most outstanding materials in the field of teaching and learning. Be sure to check out Relationship Smarts PLUS, including a free sample lesson, for your teens!And, second, the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) named The Dibble Institute their 2009 21st Century Community Champion Award winner. We were selected to receive the prestigious award based on our “exemplary work in helping young people learn the skills needed to navigate their romantic lives.“Our mission at The Dibble Institute is to help teens get smart about their romantic lives. We know from our research that teens who participate in our evidence-based programs:

  • are more knowledgeable about what is and is not healthy in relationships,
  • hold more realistic relationship beliefs,
  • have improved conflict management skills, and
  • express an increased openness to taking relationship education classes in the future.

I’d like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the AAFCS leadership for recognizing the relevance and pertinence of our work. Also, I want to acknowledge and thank all the instructors around the country who are teaching teens these essential life skills. Together we make a great team!With all good wishes,Kay Reed,Executive Director

Teen “Sexting”: what you need to know“Sexting”, sending nude or semi-nude photos via cell phone, is a scary new teen phenomenon that’s on the rise. According to a recent survey by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 22% of girls and 18% of boys say they have electronically sent or posted nude or semi-nude images of themselves. And about one-third of teen boys and one-quarter of teen girls say they have had nude or semi-nude images shared with them.Most teens are unaware of, or discount, serious long-term consequences involved with sexting such as:

  • Images may not remain private.
  • Once posted, messages or images cannot be controlled.
  • School administrators and potential employers often check out social networking sites to size up candidates.
  • Teens are now being charged with distributing pornography and labeled as sex offenders when underage kids are involved!

What should you do? The experts are in agreement – the key is teaching teens about respectful, healthy relationships. This is something The Dibble Institute excels at – we’re here to help you with award-winning information you can trust. A growing body of research by institutions like Harvard and Auburn Universities supports the positive impact of our curricula.Let us tailor a program to your needs. Check out our catalog and training programs, and plan NOW to put these skills on your agenda for fall. We’ve developed nearly a dozen programs on teen relationship skills, and offer an additional 40+ training resources in our catalog.To help you get started, we’ve included links to some great new free tip sheets, talking points, and other resources that focus on respectful behavior and social networking. See below.

Tips for talking to kids about sexting and healthy relationships – two great resources!The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Cosmo commissioned a survey to better understand the intersection between sex and cyberspace with respect to attitudes and behavior. Besides presenting key findings, they have also published great tips and talking points for parents and teens that include five things to think about before pressing “send” and five tips to help parents talk to their kids about sex and technology. More data and relevant tips are available on the National Campaign sextech website. Visit for teen perspectives on sending or receiving sexually suggestive content.The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) has developed a great new series of resources to help parents, teachers and youth mentors teach teens to avoid relationship abuse like sexting by learning about healthy, loving respectful relationships. RESPECT! Tools is a collection of tips, information and conversation starters that can be downloaded from their website.

NEW interactive website for teens about relationships!How do I know if I’m in love? If he breaks up with me will I disappear? Is it okay for a guy to tell his girlfriend what to wear? What’s the big deal about sexting?These are the kinds of questions talked about by teens on Talk to Friends, a new website from First Things First. This interactive website meets teens where they live and gives them accurate information and resources about healthy dating and relationship skills. It’s a great supplement to your healthy relationship skills curricula! Encourage your teens to check it out!

The Dibble Institute CalendarJuly 12 – 15YouthBuild Transformation InstituteChicago, ILClosed sessionLove NotesTrainer: Marline PearsonJuly 20 – 21Missouri ACTE Summer ConferenceSpringfield, MOContact: 21 – 24North Carolina ACTE/FCS ConferenceGreensboro, NCContact: Natalie Middleton 405-848-2171‘Why Teaching Teens about Marriage Matters”Presenter: Natalie MiddletonJuly 28Michigan Family and Consumer Science Teachers ConferenceEast Lansing, MIContact: Natalie Middleton 405-848-2171Connections: Relationships and MarriageHealthy Choices, Healthy RelationshipsTrainer: Char KamperJuly 28 – 30Ohio Family and Consumer Science Teachers Summer ConferenceColumbus, OHContact: Irene Varley“Teaching Teens Through Tough Times”Presenter: Irene VarleyJuly 29 – August 1Ohio Marriage CoalitionColumbus, OHContact: Lorie McClain, lorie@oacaa.orgLove NotesTrainer: Marline PearsonAugust 3 – 6Virginia Family and Consumer Science ConferenceRichmond, VAContact: Natalie Middleton 405-848-2171“Why Teaching Teens About Marriage Matters”Presenter: Natalie MiddletonSeptember 252nd Annual Kansas Healthy Marriage ConferenceLawrence, KSContact: Joyce Webb 316-295-2335“Don’t Worry, It’s Just My First Wedding” Keynote“Fundraising 101 – Strategies for Thriving in Changing Times” WorkshopPresenter: Kay ReedNeed a Speaker?The Dibble Institute can customize a keynote, plenary, or workshop to meet the individual needs of your organization. Our presentations are interactive, high-paced and exciting!Simply let us know what you are trying to accomplish and we will do our best to get you there.For more information, please contact Irene Varley, Director of Education, at 941-360-1859 (M-F, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Eastern Time).

About The Dibble InstituteFounded in 1996, The Dibble Institute (TDI) is a private, nonprofit organization created to promote relationship skills training for youth, with a special focus on dating and romantic interactions. Our goal is to help young people gain the skills essential for healthy relationships now, and successful marriages in the future. Some of our activities include:

  • Raising awareness of the needs for and benefits of helping young people learn the skills needed to navigate their romantic lives;
  • Developing and distributing teaching materials designed for use in schools and a wide variety of other settings,
  • Educating opinion leaders and policy makers;
  • Training teachers and youth instructors;
  • Consulting on effective implementation strategies and grant application approaches, and
  • Serving as a clearinghouse to collect and disseminate timely and relevant research and other evidence of the benefits of youth relationship education.

TDI programs are used in all 50 states and around the world in thousands of schools, youth agencies, and other youth programs impacting tens of thousands of young people. We are funded primarily by the sales of our educational materials and training programs. For more information, please visit©2009 The Dibble Institute – Phone: 1-800-695-7975