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New York: Healthy Sexuality Focus of Campaign

October 1, 2009

A three-year, $200,000 Allyn Foundation grant aims to help Syracuse- and Rochester-area parents educate their children about sex. The effort, "Real Life. Real Talk," has also been rolled out in five other communities nationwide.

On Tuesday, a 35-member coalition representing community agencies, parents, teens, faith-based groups, academics, and medical professionals kicked off the local campaign. "We want everyone in our community to learn to talk about healthy sexuality," said Crystal Collette, Real Talk program manager and a staff member at Planned Parenthood of the Syracuse/Rochester area, which is heading the campaign.

The goal is to prevent STDs and unintended pregnancies in young people through small programs for parents and community-wide events. The campaign's premise is that in the current sex-saturated popular culture, there is a lack of open communication and honest discussion, foremost from parents.

The grant money will go toward survey research, a Web site, the curriculum to be used with parents, partner training, and a marketing campaign, said Collette.

The coalition will hold a series of events in October, beginning Oct. 8 with a screening of the 2005 documentary "The Education of Shelby Knox." The film tells the story of a teenager's quest to bring comprehensive sex education to high schools in her town. Knox will attend the 7 p.m. screening at the Palace Theatre, 2384 James St., Syracuse.

To learn more about the campaign, visit

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Excerpted from:
Post-Standard (Syracuse)
09.30.2009; Maureen Nolan

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