Washington Post Examines Washington, D.C., School Program That Enlists Parents To Help Educate Students About HIV/AIDS
The Washington Post on Thursday examined a program in Washington, D.C., that will enlist parents to help educate school children about HIV/AIDS. Under the program -- called Parents as Teachers Coordinating Health Education Strategies, which CDC and the city's Administration for HIV Policy and Programs are funding -- parents will be expected to provide information to students and assist teachers both in and out of the classroom. Administrators aim to train up to 75 parents during a three-day training program this summer before launching the program at the beginning of the school year. Administrators aim to place parents part time in elementary, middle and high schools with age-appropriate materials. In addition to attending the training course, parents must have at least a high school diploma and one child attending a district public or charter school to be eligible to participate in the program. According to Marc Clark, director of HIV/AIDS education for the District of Columbia Public Schools, grandparents and retired teachers also are eligible to participate in the program, but the focus will be on recruiting parents. The program was created with the idea that parents can effectively teach prevention messages, including abstinence and condom use, according to Brenda Crowder-Gaines, manager of the program for the district's HIV/AIDS Administration. She added that the program also aims to increase communication between parents and children. Sharon Baskerville, executive director of District of Columbia Primary Care Association, said she welcomed the idea, but she also expressed doubt over whether teenagers would be open to messages from parents. She added that students might hold back from engaging in a dialogue if they are concerned that adults participating in the program might know their parents and not keep information confidential. The program, which is voluntary for district schools, has a first-year budget of $250,000, which will go toward training, operational costs and stipends for participating parents (Edwards, Washington Post, 7/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.