To everyone who made the 2014 Networking and community Building Conference a success – from the great presenters, to the attendees, to the fabulous staff at Edwards House, to our volunteers – especially the inimitable Kim Comatas, a huge THANK YOU!  We are currently working on registration for the 2015 conference, to be held on April 11th, 2015, in Framingham.  

And to make it even easier to implement some of the great stuff you saw in workshops, conference materials are being posted as we receive them!

What they’re saying:

I LOVED this.  More of the same.  People were knowledgeable, friendly and approachable.  Both presenters and participants! 

So many workshops…tools to recreate/upgrade your own lesson plans … with activities I can use in my classes!

This was really just anamazingsafe environment which was so nice.  It’s great to feel so good at an event. That means: to return.  Loved the space. Food was yummy. 

The conference program is still online

The workshop descriptions are linked below:

“What are Students Bringing into Sex Ed? Understanding the Sexual Scripts and Emotional Experiences of Teens.”
Sex education classes can bring up many feelings for teenage students who enter the classroom with a variety of beliefs and experiences.  This workshop will discuss sexual script theory, current research on adolescent sexual scripts, briefly review “hook up” and rape cultures, and discuss how this might affect students’ experience in the classroom.

A Values Auction” with Megan Andelloux
In this lesson, participants are provided the opportunity to budget play money on items they value during a class auction. During the auction, participants will have the opportunity to learn the differences and/or similarities of their classmate’s values.

Reproductive Anatomy… Cranium ™ Style” with Kim Comatas
Tired of teaching reproductive anatomy the same way every time? Shake it up using a lesson that will have students engaged using various learning styles: visual, reading, auditory, and kinesthetic. Students will team up to find correct reproductive anatomy organs/glands, name the part out loud together as a group, mold various organs parts and finally acting out the process of Menstruation. A lesson you and they won’t soon forget.

Understanding the Language of Gender and Sexual Diversity” with Jessica Pedrick
This lesson designed to teach 7th and 8th grade students about variations in gender identity. The one hour lesson will help students define and differentiate “sex” “gender identity” “gender expression” and “sexual orientation.” Through two interactive activities, students will produce a range of orientations and identities to develop a broader understand of gender and sexuality minorities. This lesson is designed to utilize multiple intelligences and can be used for students with a range of previous knowledge on the subject.

Adaptable and Accurate – re-working sex ed curricula for people with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities… on the fly” with Erin Balser-Francis
Adaptable and Accurate gives educators, parents, and caregivers engaged with people with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities skills to rework sexuality education on the fly. The presentation includes speedy knowledge base assessments, ideas for modifying existing curricula, and a chance to try out the new skills.

How to Run a Parent Meeting” with Jane Detwiler
The support and involvement of parents/guardians is key to the success of comprehensive sexuality education for youth. Parent programming can help establish a healthy partnership by recognizing them as the most influential and important educators of their children and providing them with tools to reinforce and supplement what youth are being taught in sexuality education programs.
This workshop focuses on how to conduct orientation sessions for parents of teens enrolled in comprehensive sexuality education.
At the end of the workshop participants will:
1. Understand three concerns parents may have about comprehensive sexuality education for youth
2. Communicate benefits of parental involvement
3. Describe 4 activities to use in an orientation to engage parents as partners

Relationship Behaviors: Healthy or Not” with Suzy Spressert
Middle and high school students are craving more conversations on and information about healthy relationships. In this workshop we will explore activities to jump start these essential conversations. We will look at strategies to build and maintain healthy relationships, as well as ways to encourage students to remove themselves from hurtful relationships. This workshop will also focus on how technology/social media can impact relationships – for better or worse.

Saying ‘Yes’ to Consent” with Megara Bell
Consent is the critical, but often misunderstood, element of communication in relationships. Helping youth understand consent is critical to increasing communication, reducing sexual abuse and manipulation and increasing efficacy. Age of consent, drugs and alcohol, dating violence, and the legal and ethical effects on consent will be addressed in classroom activities and discussions involving sexual and non-sexual scenarios, suitable for 6th to 12th grade.

Creating Values Statements” with Maggie Wood
We will be talking about two things: personal opinions and values around sexuality, and the personal decision making process, especially in regards to making choices around topics of sexual health using role-playing and a bunch of fun activities!

“Sex Ed in the Digital Age” with Brian Flaherty
The intersection of sex and technology is a huge concern for everyone involved with raising adolescents.  From sexting to pornography, from social media to online sex education, it is vital to be equipped with the tools necessary to make healthy choices around sex and technology.  Using lessons from the Center for Family Life Education’s forthcoming manual on Sex Ed in the Digital Age, we will explore a number of these topics, and explore what “age appropriate” means in the context of emerging technology.

If you have any questions, please email us at: