Eighth-graders take sex seriously

Winners were announced for Sequim Middle School's "Take It Seriously: Sex, Abstinence and the Media" project contest. Eighth-grade students designed and implemented their own media literacy and abstinence education messages and products.

The winners were First place: Matthew Cays and Brittany Brown for their board game; second place: Linda Markham for her PowerPoint on the fantasy and realities of having a baby; third place: Justine Roads and Elisa Sallee for their PowerPoint on accentuating activities to do with friends that don't include sex.

Honorable mentions were awarded to William Hartman, Mariah Lamb and Xenia Hernandez, and Ella Rickerson. All students who placed or were given honorable mentions won cash prizes.

Twenty-five juniors and seniors from Sequim High School taught the program with help from abstinence project coordinator Elna Kawal and middle school health and fitness teacher Bridget Shingleton.

The program encourages students to examine media influences on their personal decision-making related to sexual practices. Students participated in six sex education lessons that use media literacy as a strategy to address prevention of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Program funding was provided under the Federal Abstinence Education Grant of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Administration of Children and Families.

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