The It's Your Choice program provides prevention instruction to Manatee County youth on topics related to mental health, substance use, sexual health, and the building of social-emotional competencies. Our program's mission is to reduce high-risk behaviors among our youth in an effort to support their full development and success. This critical mission has contributed to increased graduation rates, decreased drop-out rates, and ultimately the costly negative impacts to our community and society. Through our continuing funding from the Manatee County Children's Services tax and partnership with the county government, the It's Your Choice Program has been operating through the School District of Manatee County for the past 10 years. In that time, the program has been delivered each year in most of our middle and high schools. Beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year, It's Your Choice will look to expand to all secondary schools as well as offer services within our elementary schools.
The It’s Your Choice curriculum meets numerous Florida Department of Education Health and Science Benchmarks. In addition, the Florida Department of Education has recognized It's Your Choice as a model program for health and prevention education in our secondary schools. Our trained and certified teachers partner with expert community speakers to teach the curriculum through Physical Education or Science classes for approximately 8-10 days, which can be arranged to fit within your school schedule. This year we added the option to select a compressed lesson plan or single presentations to fit within your schedule. In addition, we also conduct a brief 10-minute anonymous post survey of each student who completes the full curriculum.
It's Your Choice lessons focus on:
- Promoting positive peer norms regarding restraining from high risk behavior
- Increasing communication between students and their parents
- Promoting positive attitudes about abstinence
- Providing accurate knowledge about preventing STD's, HIV, and teen pregnancy
- Preventing teen dating violence, a FLDOE mandated program
- Preventing abuse of drugs, alcohol, E-cigarettes and other substances
- Dangers of social media
- Trauma response
- Know the law
- Promoting positive life skills and coping mechanisms
For more information please Download or view the It's Your Choice brochure or contact Suzy Ardila at (941) 751-6550 x2112