Sunday, May 16, 2010
Providing teenagers with accurate, up-to-date health information is critical to any health curriculum. While difficult to do, there are numerous resources available in today's technology-filled world. In addition to using Google Reader, I've been using a resource that has been around since 1993.
Go Ask Alice is run by Columbia University (specifically the Alice! Health Promotion Program, a division of Columbia's Health Services), and the website contains information on a variety of health topics: alcohol & other drugs, fitness & nutrition, emotional health, general health, sexuality, sexual health, and relationships. Users submit questions that are answered by team members who have "advanced degrees in public health, health education, medicine, and counseling." Information is constantly updated, and articles that have new information have their own section. As the website states, "Go Ask Alice! is a health Q&A Internet resource. It provides readers with reliable, accurate, accessible, culturally competent information and a range of thoughtful perspectives so that they can make responsible decisions concerning their health and well-being. Information provided by Go Ask Alice! is not medical advice and not meant to replace consultation with a health care professional."
Users can sign up for e-mail updates as well. This resource has been helpful to me when a student asks a "loaded question" in which I have to tread carefully around my response, especially with sexuality issues. Check out this timely and important resource for accurate information on a variety of topics!
NOTE: Some of the sexuality information is way beyond the curriculum for middle school students. Use your discretion if you allow students to browse the website on their own.