Sexual Risk Avoidance Grant



Services Provided

The Curriculum:

The curriculum, Making A Difference, was selected from the options available from the federal registry.  Enrichment lessons in areas of coercion, assault and violence prevention will be provided by YWCA staff.  A focus of our grant funding is to assist students in developing skills in reducing sexual coercion and assault.  80% of our special education students are at risk for these sexual encounters.  They are also many more times likely to become pregnant as a teen.

Curriculum Accommodations:

Health and Human Services, our funder, required selection of curriculum from a list of abstinence-only options.  None were specific to special education needs.  The curriculum that we selected meets some IEP requirements and will have needed accommodations for limited verbal learners, more engaging art and pictures, and activities.  This will be accomplished with special education experts at Kent ISD and local district special education teachers currently implementing sexuality education in their classrooms.

Positive Youth Development Opportunities:
  1. Participation on committees to create the Best Prom Ever for 2017 and 2018
  2. Participation with Peer-to-Peer Mentors with paid staff leader
  3. Drug Prevention Activities, including an all-school social norm campaign
  4. Paid bus transportation to the Transition Expo, with participation in Life Unplugged.
Staff Professional Development:

To expand special education teacher knowledge in sexuality education, the following programs will be offered throughout the three years of grant funding, with paid substitute teacher reimbursement:

  1. Special Education Strategies for Cognitively Challenged Students: Nationally Certified Sexuality Educator and Downs Syndrome Specialist, Terri Couwenhoven
  2.  Sexual Minority Youth, trained by Michigan Department of Education Diversity Staff Consultant
  3. Speaker and programming selected in final year based on surveys for what is most needed
Parents of Special Education Secondary Students:
  1. Curriculum overview and importance of sexuality education at parent association meetings
  2. Parent specific programming from national speakers
  3. Connections to Positive Youth Development activities for their teens


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The SRA Grant serves 40 Teachers and 500 Students in the following 12 School Districts:

Belding - Belding Area Schools

Cedar Springs - Cedar Springs Public Schools

Godfrey-Lee - Godfrey-Lee Public Schools

Grandville - Grandville Public Schools

Ionia - Ionia Public Schools

Kelloggsville - Kelloggsville Public Schools

Kentwood - Kentwood Public Schools

Northview - Northview Public Schools

Rockford - Rockford Public Schools

Sparta - Sparta Area Schools

Tri-County - Tri-County Area Schools

Wyoming - Wyoming Public Schools

Parent/Teacher Information

Sample of our Parent Notification Letter

Upcoming Events

This program will help parents/guardians become more comfortable and confident in addressing sexuality issues with their children who have intellectual disabilities. Participants will compare and contrast sexual learning in the general population with sexual learning in children with intellectual disabilities. Unique circumstances in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities will be explored which shape attitudes and behaviors around sexuality. Key foundational concepts for healthy sexuality along with parent resources and ideas for addressing sexuality with your child will be included. The speaker, Terri Couwenhoven, MS, is an AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator who specializes in working with people who have intellectual disabilities, their families and the professionals who support them. She is a Clinic Coordinator for the Down Syndrome Clinic of Wisconsin at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Terri is the mother of two daughters; her oldest has Down syndrome.  This program will take place during the monthly Parent Advisors for Special Education meeting (PASE). All interested parents/guardians are welcome to attend. March 13, 2017 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.  Kent ISD: 2930 Knapp NE. Grand Rapids, MI 49525.  There is NO COST for  this program.  For more information contact Cheryl Blair, Ed.D. Call:616-365-0293 Email: