With September just around the corner, many of us are thinking about the new school year ahead. The start of the school year, with all the possibilities ahead, can be a time of new beginnings, much like January 1st.
For some, it may mean a child or grandchild starting kindergarten or high school or college. For many whose work is connected with the school calendar, it can mean getting geared up again for the year ahead. For all of us in Madison, it means welcoming back tens of thousands of students who will call this place home for a season.
At Care Net, the beginning of September means a busier time in our clinic. College students return to Madison for school. Young women return from vacations and are ready to make those appointments they’ve been putting off.
September also means our medical professionals are ready to connect with area middle and high schools. Our nurses and physicians provide LifeWise sessions on healthy relationships and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Each fall, health teachers ask our nurses and physicians to give these specialized presentations for their health classes.
Health teachers are glad to have our medical volunteers come to present information on STIs. This is especially true because medical information keeps changing. Teachers are happy to bring in experts who specialize in sexual health to share up-to-date information with their students.
Our nurses and physicians present information to students about STIs, making informed and safe life choices and developing healthy relationships and boundaries. They help students to be aware that the only “safe sex” is within the context of a committed mutually monogamous relationship (known as marriage).
Do we expect to change students’ lives in the matter of an hour or two? Generally, no. But we can provide a message that runs counter to the cultural messages that bombard them each day.
Giving students accurate medical information helps. Encouraging students to make healthy life choices, and believing that they are able to do so, can make a difference.
We can help students who wish to wait for sex to remain committed to that decision. We can cause other students to stop and consider their choices. And we can offer hope for new beginnings for those who long for something better.
Will some ignore us or forget about what we’ve said once they walk out the door? Yes. Will others drop their ideals about waiting for sex when they’re with Mr. or Mrs. Right? Yes. But when we have shared a message of truth and hope, we have done our part.
When we have helped your daughter to hold fast to her commitment to purity, it is worth it. When we have given your grandson a reason to stop and think about his relationship choices, it is worth it. When we have played a part in bringing a new beginning for a student in your neighborhood, it is worth it. Thanks for being a part of bringing hope, truth and new beginnings for teens in our schools.
Would you like to see LifeWise STI presentations come to a school in your community? Contact Billie Jo to find out more.