Newsletter: November 2007

Building Relationship Skills NewsletterNovember 2007

Dear Friends,

Last April, the Love U2® curricula were singled out for special commendation by Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution.  In her testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, Ms. Sawhill presented evidence on how poverty would fall substantially by increasing three things—work, marriage, and education—with full-time work and marriage having the strongest impacts.

With regard to increasing marriage and reducing the number of single parent families, Sawhill encouraged a focus on reducing teen pregnancy and out-of-wedlock childbearing. Her recommendations included:

  • New cultural attitudes about the sequencing of life goals, including education; waiting to marry until your twenties; and postponing childbearing until after marriage and employment are secure and at least one parent is stably employed.


  • Implementation of programs that teach both values and relationship skills to younger Americans while ensuring that they are well informed about preventing unwanted pregnancies.

She went on to say “…a new and exciting frontier ….. has been embodied in efforts such as the Love U2® curriculum.” “These efforts tend to teach young people about healthy relationships at the same time they teach them about avoiding risky sexual behavior and the value of waiting…”  “These efforts are focused squarely on trying to help young people understand how to achieve responsible and respectful relationships.”

We’re now delighted to introduce the newest unit in the popular Love U2® series by Marline Pearson, Relationship Smarts PLUS! This research-backed unit is a revised and updated edition of Increasing Your Relationship Smarts (2004) and is based on the five-year federal evaluation study at Auburn University. It is a lively, comprehensive, 13 lesson curriculum that helps teens build the skills and knowledge necessary for making wise relationship choices now and in the future.

Relationship Smarts PLUS is also brimming with NEW cutting edge curricula! Inside you’ll find topics like teen dating, self-awareness, maturity and values identification, attraction and infatuation, building blocks for positive relationships, assessing relationship health, a low-risk relationship strategy, principles of smart relationships, a realistic concept of love, and breaking up. Content also includes date violence prevention, teen parenting, communication and conflict management skills, identity and future orientation, and a unique approach to pregnancy prevention that educates about the needs of children and the importance for of “sequence”, i.e. education, job, marriage before babies.

One key feature of this edition is a workbook that provides teens the opportunity to review, to reflect, and to apply what they have learned to their own lives. Another important featureis a “Parent/Guardian—Teen Connection” activity at the end of each lesson which conveys core content to parents or guardians and serves as a catalyst for critical teen-parent conversations. Relationship Smarts PLUS is also designed to work well with diverse youth.

Best Regards,

Kay Reed,Executive Director

Love U2® “Relationship Smarts PLUS” NEW!!!


  • Instructor’s Guide with 13 lessons
  • Student Workbook
  • 5 posters
  • All activity resources and ready to use game cards
  • Resource CD with lesson by lesson Power Points, that provide more resource materials to teach the lessons and  help you visually reinforce key concepts from chapters.
  • Reproducible handouts

Order Relationship Smarts PLUS by November 26, 2007 and get free shipping – a savings of over $30!More about Relationship Smarts PLUS, including FREE SAMPLE Lesson


Kay Reed honored with 2007 Impact Award at Smart Marriages Conference!

The Dibble Institute is proud to announce that our own Kay Reed was honored for her preeminent leadership in the field of school youth marriage education last June by the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education.

In her presentation speech, Diane Sollee, founder and director of CMFCE, recognized the importance of Kay’s visionary work, saying that she directs people with youth related questions to Kay, “because she’s the expert”, and added that when she’s asked by policy makers or the press…“if you had to put all your resources in one place, where would you put them”…she says “it’s obvious…you’d put them in school youth marriage education (programs) because that’s the future!”

Ms. Sollee commended Kay for her “tenacious conviction that we have to start with the kids and for her creative and inspirational leadership in establishing and advancing the school youth marriage education movement.” Kay’s acceptance speech, which provides the definitive case for initiating healthy youth relationship education programs, can be downloaded or ordered from the Smart Marriages website at or by calling 800-241-7785.____________________________________________________________________

Lesson Plan Search 2007

The deadline for submitting an entry in the Dibble Institute Lesson Plan Search has been extended to January 1, 2008.  The competition is held to help teens learn how to navigate their romantic lives and to encourage the educational leaders who teach these essential skills to teens.

We are seeking creative, original lesson plans dealing with any aspect of romantic relationships or marriage.  Entries which are easy to teach and are based in current research are encouraged. The recommended format is available on our website at Gift certificates good for $500, $250 and $125 worth of educational materials from the Dibble Institute were awarded to the winners. All winning entries will become the property of The Dibble Institute and will be available to the public. None of the entries will be returned. For more information, please contact Joyce Huff at (800) 695-7975 or

Click here for a printable 2007 lesson plan announcement____________________________________________________________________

Attention FCCLA Advisors!

You should have received information about our poster and lesson plans in your fall mailings, but if you are not already teaching “Me, You, and US” and would like to earn a benchmark payment for your chapter while teaching healthy relationship skills, visit for more information.____________________________________________________________________

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.