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Get Real (Middle School)

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.