“[The educator] was professional and respectful and her manner of facilitation created a safe and fun environment for the students to learn about sexual health. Because of this, students asked thoughtful, intelligent, important questions and she answered them honestly using language that students could understand and relate to. Sexual health is such an important topic and I think that having someone from outside the school to facilitate these conversations creates a more open and authentic experience for students. Thank you Calgary Sexual Health!” – High School Teacher
“You didn’t only help us understand how and why our bodies work a certain way, but you also helped us accept ourselves the way we are. That made me feel really good about myself. You also talked about everyone’s rights, and as a young lady I feel very powerful. I can say yes or no to whatever I may want. I know in the future, I will have lots of decisions to make where I will look back to this week.” – High School Student
What We Do
The foundation of our work is our school-based education program. We’ve been a recommended resource of the Calgary Board of Education since 1975, and ours is considered a best-practice program, linked directly with CBE and Alberta Learning Curriculum’s outcomes. We talked to more than 9,000 students in schools in 2012.
Our program is interactive and discussion-based, and gives youth the tools to navigate the world of healthy sexuality and make healthy decisions. We take a holistic view, recognizing that good sexual health is intrinsic to having a healthy body, healthy relationships and a healthy community.
Why Choose Us?
1. We are the only organization in Calgary that provides truly comprehensive sexual health information in junior and senior high schools. We’re proud to provide an evidence-based program that’s not grounded in shame or judgement.
Youth who feel ashamed of their bodies or shameful about sexuality are less likely to protect themselves from STIs and unplanned pregnancies. Research also shows that the outcomes from comprehensive sexuality education are better than abstinence-based programs – meaning youth are not any likelier to have sex, but ARE more likely to delay their first time having sex and use protection when they do (Kirby, 2007). We equip students to have conversations with their partners and make responsible, informed decisions for themselves based on their own values.
2. We talk about consent.
We think it’s critical that all students fully understand what consent means, including what age you can consent, if you can give consent if you’re under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and whether or not you can consent and then change your mind.
3. We talk about bullying, homophobia and diversity.
We think it’s critical to talk about issues like sexism, homophobia, gender roles and sexual diversity. We encourage students to challenge stereotypes, be aware of the language they use and embrace diversity, and we help them understand the true impact of bullying and prejudice.
4. We teach media literacy skills.
Our discussions around gender roles and diversity naturally lead to a critical analysis of media. We help youth sort through and critically analyze the media messages they’re bombarded with every day, and give context to advertising, social media and website messages. We also talk about issues like sexting.
5. We provide an inclusive classroom environment.
Our program has an emphasis on diversity and we recognize that students come from all backgrounds, faiths, cultures and experiences. We meet students where they’re at and provide information in a non-judgmental way. We respect that every student has a story and has had an experience with sexuality – whether that means they’ve had sex or haven’t. It’s important that all students feel included and normal in our classes. We encourage students to discuss and recognize their own values when making decisions.
We also recognize the high rate of sexual abuse and assault in our communities. Our educators are highly trained to deal with sexual assault disclosures that may happen (anonymously and not) throughout the program.
We believe everyone has the right to sexual health information, and we offer an adapted program for PLP, ACCESS and ELL classes.
6. We are professionals, not volunteers.
All of our sexuality educators are full-time staff at the Centre for Sexuality (formerly Calgary Sexual Health Centre) with a passion for their work. Many of them are registered social workers or have backgrounds in health, sciences or education, and undergo intensive long-term training in order to work in classrooms.
“[The educator] did a masterful job. She actively involved students. She had them moving around the room. She dealt with what I would call ASMS – “Adolescent Silly Male Syndrome” respectfully and politely, redirecting the boys when needed. From my perspective as a veteran of 30-plus years of teaching and as a father and grandfather, you are fortunate to have [the educator].” – High School Teacher
Things to Consider When Booking Your Sexual Health Educator
Are their outcomes linked to Alberta Learning and the Calgary Board of Education?
Will they openly share their curriculum?
Is the curriculum evidence-based?
Where does the organization’s funding come from?
What is the background or education of the educator? Are they volunteers?
Does the program emphasize respect for diversity and encourage acceptance of people of various races, cultures, abilities, gender identities and sexual orientations?
Does the program talk about consent? Do they talk about bullying?
Do they offer a specific program for PLP, ACCESS or ELL classes?
Interested in booking a program for your school?
Please click here to request an Educator in your school. Please provide the following information if possible:
- your desired dates,
- the grade (s) you would like us to visit,
- how many classes of each grade, and
- any unique needs in the class
All applications that are submitted prior to July 27th will be treated on a first come, first serve basis. The applications submitted between June 27th and August 31st will be finalized prior to September 14th.
Applications submitted after August 31st and prior to Dec 1st will be finalized by the end of December. Unfortunately, we do not accept applications after December 1st with the exception of bookings related to summer schools.
For all other inquiries please contact Erin Henriksen at firstname.lastname@example.org