Pono Choices Curriculum Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Pono Choices a DOE approved curriculum?
The Pono Choices program is on the DOE approved curricula list for grades 6-8 and meets the DOE criteria for an abstinence-based sexual health education program.
What is the “Pono Choices” Curriculum?
Pono Choices is a culturally responsive teen pregnancy and STI prevention program designed to provide young adolescents with the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and skills necessary to reduce their risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and pregnancy. This is achieved through a ten module curriculum which is based upon theories of social learning, self–regulation and developmental asset theories in combination with researchers’ extensive experiential knowledge working with youth. The curriculum has been developed through an approach which incorporates medically accurate information, character education and a strong focus on Hawaiian cultural values.
Why do we need Pono Choices?
Hawai‘i’s teen pregnancy rate is 93 pregnancies per 1,000 young women ages 15-19. This rate is higher than the national rate of 84 pregnancies per 1,000. Only nine states have higher rates of teenage pregnancy. Additionally, STIs and HIV/AIDS are a major concern among youth in Hawai‘i. Therefore, Health/Sex education curricula like Pono Choices, are needed within schools in order to equip students with the skills they need to make good-decisions about sexual behavior and contraception. Because Pono Choices was designed to be “culturally responsive,” it will also take into account the unique experiences that youth in Hawai‘i are facing.
Who can participate in the Pono Choices Curriculum?
Pono Choices Curriculum was designed for 7th and 8th grade students in middle school health classes. It can be used in classes with larger amounts of youth, such as a combination of 7th and 8th grade classes. It can be used in a variety of community settings, including schools or youth-serving agencies.
What are the major components of the curriculum?
The Pono Choices curriculum has three major components. The first component focuses on goals, dreams and adolescent sexuality. The second component focuses on knowledge, including information about the etiology, transmission, and prevention of HIV, STDs, and teenage pregnancy. It also covers beliefs and attitudes about abstinence, HIV, STD’s, and pregnancy. The third component focuses on skills and self-efficacy, covering negotiation and refusal skills, and providing time for practice, reinforcement, and support.
What are the curriculum’s goals?
The overarching goals for Pono Choices are to reduce the number of teen pregnancies and incidences of STIs; increase positive bonding in the school and community; increase sense of self-identity and self-efficacy; and improve students’ expectations for the future.