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Press Release

Monday, March 22, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

State Board of Education Awarded Grant to Improve School Health Policies on HIV and AIDS

~ Florida selected to pilot health advocacy toolkit ~

LIBERTY CITY, FLA – The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) has awarded the Florida State Board of Education a $15,000 grant to help educate Liberty City residents on how to combat the prevalence of HIV and AIDS among area youth. Liberty City is an area of Miami-Dade County that is of high concern due to the large number of Black youth impacted by this harmful disease. Liberty City has 6,486 adult AIDS cases and 2,061 adult HIV cases, representing eight percent of the county’s total population, but more than 20 percent of the reported AIDS cases and more than 18 percent of the reported HIV cases. This area also has the highest number of cumulative AIDS and HIV cases in the county.

“With such an alarming rate of HIV and AIDS cases in Liberty City, and our state, it is imperative that we work with our community partners and school district leaders to educate our children on this very serious epidemic,” said State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair. “This grant will enable experts to reach out directly to those who need help the most, educating them and future generations of Floridians about the prevalence of this disease.”

Through a competitive process, the State Board of Education demonstrated Florida’s need for outreach funding and provided specific plans for educating the public about the dangers of HIV/AIDS. Through the grant, the Florida Department of Education will partner with the Urban League of Greater Miami to create a specialized toolkit for parents and community members called Florida Sexual Health Education and Advocacy Tool Kit: Building Community Awareness and Support. The kit will provide guidance on how parents and other community stakeholders can partner with school district educators and leaders to create or enhance programs aimed at improving sexual health outcomes among youth. The toolkit will be piloted with parent groups in Miami-Dade County in early 2011 through the Urban League of Greater Miami.

Florida currently ranks second for the number of reported HIV incidents in the nation, and is also listed as the number one state for the number of AIDS cases reported to have been transmitted through heterosexual contact. According to the 2009 Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey, approximately 51 percent of Florida’s high school students are sexually active. The data indicate that many Florida teens are at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or becoming pregnant.

For information regarding the HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Program at the Florida Department of Education, visit www.fldoe.org/bii/cshp/Education/HIV_STD/Default.asp. To learn more about the Florida State Board of Education visit, www.fldoe.org/board.