Dear Parents/Guardians of Panorama Heights Students,
Each year, students in all elementary grades throughout BC receive instruction in sexual health education. This information is included in the Physical and Health Education program mandated for all BC students by the Ministry for Education. From time to time, schools bring in experts in the field to address this topic with the school community. We are excited to inform you that this year Rayka Kumru of Saleema Noon Sexual Health Educators will be visiting our school to work with parents and students Kindergarten to Grade 5.
Although a new member of the Saleema Noon Sexual Health Educators team, Rayka has been involved in the field of sexual health education for almost ten years in her role as a sexual health educator, sexologist and cultural advisor. She has a BA in Sociology and Critical Studies in Sexuality from UBC, a Master of Sexology degree from Curtin University’s School of Public Health in Australia, and a Marketing Communication degree from Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey. As a former consultant to the Turkish Ministry of Justice’s Reproductive Health Program, Rayka taught sexuality education and gender studies courses at Yıldız Technical University and Istanbul Kultur University. A sought after speaker on human sexuality, cultural perceptions of sexuality, gender issues and working with youth, Rayka is excited to bring her skills to the elementary classroom.
In their Body Science presentations, Saleema Noon and her team of educators work with children of all ages, teaching them about healthy bodies and healthy sexuality in ways they find non-threatening and entertaining. In their own language, children learn about how their bodies change, and what those changes mean.
Based on research and many years of experience as sexual health educators, they identify three reasons why providing this information starting at kindergarten is crucial:
1. Most importantly, studies from all over the world consistently show that children who are educated about healthy bodies, healthy boundaries and healthy sexuality are at reduced risk of child sexual abuse. Even if children are not asking questions yet (some never will) we need to give them information about their bodies and help them to develop strong personal boundaries. Sexual offenders (85% of which are known to the victim) prey on children who aren’t educated about their bodies and therefore lack the skills to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate touching. These children find it hard to say “no”, especially to an adult, and may not report abuse for fear of getting in trouble.
2. Young children are easiest to teach. They are excited to be body scientists, and accept the information very matter-of-factly. Older children and teens, however, often find it difficult to talk about sexual health openly, especially with their parents! This means we have to surmount the embarrassment barrier before they can accept the information they need. The good news is that young children only absorb information they are ready for…everything else just goes above their head. More good news, studies show that children who learn about healthy bodies at an early age from reliable adults in their life delay sexual intercourse.
3. Unfourtunately, children today are exposed at earlier and earlier ages to all things involving sex. We, as responsible adults, need to stay one step ahead of this by arming our children with accurate information about sexual health before they get their questions answered on the playground, by older friends or on the internet. We need to teach them to think critically about what they hear, and this allows parents need to establish themselves early as their child’s number one source of sexual health information throughout their development.
Please join us for an informative Presentation for Parents on May 13th from 6:30-8pm. In this session, Rayka Kumru will give an overview of student presentations and, using humor and straight talk in an open, interactive environment, she will show parents how easy it is to convey healthy, meaningful messages about sex and growing up to young children.
Student sessions will take place during the school day on Thursday May 16th. The content of the presentations is supported by current research as being age appropriate and we believe that it contributes to healthy child development. Some of the topics Saleema Noon Sexual Health Educators cover in their workshops extend beyond the content of the BC Physical and Health Education curriculum. For this reason, parents may choose to have their children opt out of the Body Science sessions with Rayka. If you do not wish your child to attend, we ask that you notify our office no later than Tuesday May 14th. This is necessary to allow us to plan alternate activities for your child. Attendance at the parent presentation before making this decision is strongly encouraged.
|Workshop Dates|| May 13, 2019 6:30-8:00pm (Parent Session)
May 16, 2019 (Student Session)
|Child Minding|| Available
|Registration Deadline||Monday, May 13, 2019|
Contact the Parent Education Coordinator for any questions.