Since its inception, CCS has been thinking about human development and how children come to see themselves in the world.  This image is a flyer from 1992 inviting parents to learn about gender identification issues and how to support their children.  Tomorrow night, we'll be revisiting this topic with Ellen Sanchez who offers this overview of what to expect:

Deepening our Commitment to Educating the Whole Child:  Initiating a Human Development Program at Children’s Community School

CCS has historically provided sexuality education for students in the 5th and 6th grade with the goal of preparing them to move through puberty and adolescence with comfort and confidence. In recent years, our staff has recognized sexual and gender identity development to be core components of the children’s social and emotional learning, and the importance of including it thoughtfully into the general curriculum. As we have acknowledged the need to begin addressing these aspects of the children’s daily experiences earlier, we have sought guidance and training from experts in the field. Beginning last spring, we began working with Ellen Sanchez, an educational consultant that works with progressive schools to build their human development curricula and prepare staff with knowledge and strategies for effectiveness in this area.  This year, CCS staff will work closely with Ellen to develop a program that is dynamic and customized to advance the goals of the CCS community. It will be multi-faceted and build each year in sync with the children’s development.  It will focus on five general areas:

Bodies

Birth and Babies

Families

Friendships

Safety

Staff training and staff consultation will be ongoing.  Parent education sessions will be scheduled.  These parent sessions will be opportunities to learn how to transmit the messages you want to give your children as teachable moments arise in your family’s daily life, as well as get answers to questions about the CCS program and/or your child’s development.   Ellen will also be available to parents throughout the year by email or phone whenever there is a question or concern about which she may be able to provide information or counsel.

Some common questions that arise for which Ellen’s guidance may be helpful include:

·         How do I know when it’s the right time for giving information about sexuality? 

·         How do I answer my child’s questions honestly without exposing them to something too early?

·         What if my child shares the information I give them with other children?

·         How do I encourage growing independence and healthy risk taking while still keeping my child protected and safe?

Additionally, CCS is building an extensive library with books that are available for loan to help parents discuss these topics with their children.

You can contact Ellen directly at egsanchez19@gmail.com or 310-497-1867.