Get Real (Middle School)

Program Overview

Developer(s)

Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

Program Summary

Get Real (Middle School) is a 3-year curriculum for middle school youth designed to delay sex and increase correct and consistent use of protection methods when a person becomes sexually active. The program emphasizes responsible decision-making, applying the decision-making model to real-life situations, and increasing healthy communication with partners and family members on sexual health. Get Real is delivered in nine 45-minute lessons each in grades 6, 7, and 8.

Target Population

The program was designed and tested for youth in grades 6, 7, and 8.

Program Setting

The program was designed and evaluated as a classroom-based curriculum.

Contact and Availability Information

For curriculum, materials, and pricing information, please contact:

Nancy Gonzalez-Caro, MPH
Evidence-Based Product Specialist
ETR
100 Enterprise Way, Suite G300
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
Ph: 800-325-3048 x 237
Website: http://www.etr.org/ebi/programs/get-real/

For training and support, please contact:

Get Real Education | Get Real Training Institute
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts
1055 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215-1001
(617) 616-1600 x1938
training@pplm.org
Website: www.getrealeducation.org

Sample of curriculum available for review prior to purchase: Yes

Adaptation guidelines or kit available: Unknown

Languages available: English

Program Components

Program Objectives

The program seeks to delay sex and increase correct and consistent use of protection methods when a person becomes sexually active by:

  • Connecting self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship skills to responsible decision making.
  • Naming reasons abstinence is the healthiest choice for youth their age.
  • Describing consequences of sexual activity and ways to reduce the risk of negative consequences.
  • Applying a decision-making model to real-life situations.
  • Demonstrating assertive communication and refusal skills for delaying sexual intercourse and avoiding unprotected sexual activity.
  • Increasing their opportunities for conversations with their parents and other caring adults about personal, family and community beliefs about sexual health.

Program Content

Get Real (Middle School) is a 3-year, 27 lesson curriculum focused on delaying sex and increasing protection method use. The program is based on a behavior/determinant/intervention (BDI) theoretical model. The following four premises are built into the curriculum:

  • Sexual health is an integral part of health education.
  • Parents and other caring adults are students’ primary sexuality educators.
  • Relationship skills are a key element of a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum.
  • While abstinence from sex is the healthiest choice for avoiding sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy, adolescents require a comprehensive understanding of sexual health, sexuality and protection methods, which they will need when they become sexually active.

Get Real consists of nine sessions in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. The lessons are organized as follows:

  1. Sixth Grade Lessons: Communication and refusal skills; Relationships and boundaries; Anatomy and reproduction; Puberty; Abstinence; and Decision making and values.
  2. Seventh Grade Lessons: Media literacy and sexuality; Sexual identity; Creating a safe school environment; Deciding about sexual behavior; Defining and maintaining abstinence; Introduction to STIs and protection methods.
  3. Eighth Grade Lessons: Healthy and unhealthy relationships; Addressing obstacles to abstinence; Comprehensive protection methods; STI/HIV transmission; Living with HIV; Refusal skills; Goals and decision making; and A Get Real capstone project. 

All grade levels begin with a lesson on creating the classroom climate.

Program Methods

The program is delivered through brainstorming activities, games, discussion, skill practice, role play, guest speakers, short lectures, and group work.

Implementation Requirements and Guidance

Program Structure and Timeline

The Get Real (Middle School) curriculum is delivered in twenty-seven 45-minute sessions over three years, with nine lessons each in grades 6, 7, and 8.

Staffing

Teachers chosen to implement Get Real (Middle School) should have a high level of comfort in discussing sexuality with students. Educators interested in implementing this program should be skilled in using interactive teaching methods and guiding group discussions, and should be familiar with the program content.

Program Materials and Resources

ETR provides a supplemental activity kit to accompany the middle school curriculum that includes scenario cards, wall signs, and posters.

Additional Needs for Implementation

Core intervention materials consist of a binder with lessons, test question blanks, student workbooks and teacher's guides for grades 6, 7, and 8, and a protection methods kit.

Fidelity

None specified.

Training and Staff Support

Staff Training:

Get Real (Middle School) teachers are required to attend the Get Real curriculum training offered by Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, ETR or a certified Get Real replication partner. Training involves a self-guided online course, followed by a two-day in-person training.

Teachers are also provided two follow-up sessions when they begin teaching Get Real in the classroom and receive ongoing online support through the Teacher Resources area of the Get Real website: www.getrealeducation.org. Teachers who complete the training are eligible for continuing education credits.

Technical Assistance and Ongoing Support:

Ongoing support is provided to teachers through the Get Real website at www.getrealeducation.org. Features of the website include:

  • Digital access to Get Real lessons, Family Letters, Family Activities and Teacher’s Guide
  • A library of thoughtfully selected resources and the most up-to-date information in the field of sexuality education
  • A database of vetted answers to frequently asked student questions
  • An online community for Get Real educators to share ideas, resources, and classroom successes and challenges 
  • A blog that provides views from the classroom and best practices directly from PPLM’s Get Real educators

Allowable Adaptations

If necessary, lessons can be taught in 90-minute blocks.

Implementation Readiness Assessment

The review team conducted an independent assessment of the program’s readiness for implementation. This assessment is based on the team’s review of available program materials and documents. The team also requested input from program developers and distributors about the availability of implementation materials and resources.

On the basis of this assessment, the team calculated an implementation readiness score comprised of three component scores: (1) curriculum and materials, (2) training and staff support, and (3) fidelity monitoring tools and resources. The component scores are combined into a total score, which ranges from 0 to 8, with higher scores indicating the programs most ready to implement.

Curriculum and Materials

Has defined curriculum with lesson plans and/or activities?Yes
Has defined core or required components?Yes
Has facilitator’s guide or instructions?Yes
Component Score3/3

Training and Staff Support

Formal pre-implementation training (by qualified trainers) available?Yes
Supplemental training or ongoing technical support available?Yes
Component Score2/2

Fidelity Monitoring Tools and Resources

Has defined logic model?No
Defines fidelity guidelines and benchmarks?No
Offers monitoring and evaluation tools?No
Component Score0/3

Total Implementation Readiness Score

5/8

Reviewed Studies

CitationHigh-Quality Randomized TrialModerate-Quality Randomized TrialModerate-Quality Quasi-experimentLow Study RatingDid Not Meet Eligibility Criteria

Grossman et al. 2014

Erkut et al. 2013

Grossman et al. 2013

 Yes   

Notes

Some study entries may include more than one citation because each citation examines a different follow-up period from the same study sample, or because each citation examines a different set of outcome measures on the same study sample.

Study Characteristics

CitationSettingMajority Age GroupMajority Racial/Ethnic GroupGenderSample Size

Grossman et al. 2014

Erkut et al. 2013

Grossman et al. 2013

In School: Middle school13 or youngerLatinoBoth2,453

Notes

Some study entries may include more than one citation because each citation examines a different follow-up period from the same study sample, or because each citation examines a different set of outcome measures on the same study sample.

Information on study characteristics is available only for studies that received a high or moderate rating. Read the description of the review process for more information on how these programs are identified.

Study Findings

Citation Sexual Activity Number of Sexual Partners Contraceptive Use STIs or HIV Pregnancy

Grossman et al. 2014

Erkut et al. 2013

Grossman et al. 2013

Uniformly positive impacts across the outcomes examined in this domain
CitationDetails

Grossman et al. 2014

Erkut et al. 2013

Grossman et al. 2013

The program was evaluated in a cluster randomized controlled trial involving 24 middle schools in the greater Boston area. In the study, twelve middle schools were randomly assigned to a treatment group that implemented the Get Real program and twelve schools were randomly assigned to a control group that continued delivering their regular sex education programming. Surveys were administered at the beginning of sixth grade (baseline), beginning of seventh grade, and at the end of 8th grade (after the program ended). The study found that at the end of the eighth grade, students in the schools that delivered the program were statistically significantly less likely to initiate sexual activity.

Notes

Some study entries may include more than one citation because each citation examines a different follow-up period from the same study sample, or because each citation examines a different set of outcome measures on the same study sample. A blank cell indicates the study did not examine any outcome measures within the particular outcome domain or the findings for the outcome measures within that domain did not meet the review evidence standards.

Information on evidence of effectiveness is available only for studies that received a high or moderate rating. Read the description of the review process for more information on how these programs are identified.