Magazine article Curriculum Review

Grades K-4 Chicago Kinders Get Familiar with Personal Health

Magazine article Curriculum Review

Grades K-4 Chicago Kinders Get Familiar with Personal Health

Article excerpt

The specifics of sex education and the personal health curricula in American schools vary from region to region, state to state and city to city. Most often, however, comprehensive sex education programs begin for students in the fifth grade.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the third-largest district in the United States with 431,000 enrolled students, has recently approved a measure mandating the amount of time each grade level must spend on sex and personal health education, beginning with kindergarten.

According to, the Chicago Board of Education agreed to pass a measure in the last week of August that would launch the health and sex education program curriculum for students as soon as they enter the district; topics taught will meet the students at an appropriate age level and continue to build steam through each elementary grade as they never have in programs before.

* Kindergarteners will begin to learn about their bodies and how things work with basic lessons in anatomy and reproduction. They'll also begin to learn about what makes for a healthy relationship and protecting personal safety.

* First-through third-graders will build on that education by discussing family relationships, emotional health and what kinds of touches are and are not appropriate.

* Fourth-grade students will begin discussions of how the body changes during puberty, as well as start their education on HIV. The curriculum will work to dispel myths and dismantle stigmas about the virus--including that it can not be transmitted through innocuous contact like sharing food or shaking hands. …

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