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Hablando Claro (Plain Talk for Parents): Teen Pregnancy Coalition of San Mateo County.

Community served: Spanish-speaking parents and children

Hablando Claro or Plain Talk for Parents is a two-part workshop designed to help parents/caregivers improve their skills in talking with their children about sexuality issues. The Teen Pregnancy Coalition of San Mateo County purchased the curriculum from the White Center (based in Seattle, Washington) in 1999, and adapted it to meet the unique needs of the community they serve. For example, they added additional discussions around issues having to do with acculturation and values clarification. Other cultural adaptations include a difference in approach towards homosexuality, less reliance on reading, and greater attention to discussion. Finally, a greater emphasis has been placed on practicing parent/child communication and new activities around the influence of the media.

Plain Talk consists of many activities, but perhaps the most important component of the program is role-playing. This technique gives parents the opportunity to practice answering commonly asked questions related to puberty and sexuality and allows them to become comfortable discussing sexuality issues. Through role-playing parents also gain an understanding of what is appropriate to teach children at different age levels. At the end of every Plain Talk session, parents receive a "parent packet" that has additional educational materials and resources that they can share with their children.

Plain Talk serves parents in San Mateo County, California. The program targets communities that have teen birth rates significantly higher than the state's rate. These communities are predominantly Latino, but include African-American and Filipino members. During the first three years, Plain Talk was mainly offered at elementary and junior high schools; however, parent turnout rates tended to be low. In effort to increase participation during the fourth year, the Teen Pregnancy Coalition of San Mateo County engaged in aggressive outreach to local community organizations. Plain Talk is now offered at community-based English tutoring groups, homeless shelters, foster care groups, and other community-based organizations that have established parent groups. The number of parents served has nearly doubled over the last two years.

Contact information: Glenda Jessica Ortez, Program Manager, Plain Talk/Teen Parent Panel, Teen Pregnancy Coalition of San Mateo County, 703 Woodside Road, Suite #7, Redwood City, CA, phone: 650/367-1937, e-mail: glenda@teenpregnancycoalition.org.
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Title Annotation:Examples from the Field: Culturally Competent Sexuality Education Programs
Publication:SIECUS Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Words:366
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