TISAM: Take It Seriously: Abstinence and Media
In 2004, with support from the Washington State Department of Health, teens in five different pilot sites across Washington worked with Teen Futures Media Network, College of Education, University of Washington to develop a curriculum. The goal of this curriculum was to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among Washington State teenagers by taking the first important step of impacting their knowledge and attitudes about abstinence education. The curriculum was designed to reach middle school age youth.
Teen Curriculum Development Teams
During the development phase for TISAM
, high school age teens gathered in groups across the state
were asked to select all the video clips and other images that they felt would be most effective in a media
literacy-based abstinence education program. In addition they designed the activities that would be
presented by high school age presenters to their middle school age audience.
Following the development of the curriculum unit, teams of high school age presenters were selected
by adult leaders at each of the sites to serve as the first TISAM
presenters. Over the summer and fall of
2004, these teen teams presented TISAM
to audiences of middle school age youth in both classrooms
and community group settings. The results were extremely positive. The program received excellent
reviews from all of the teen audiences, the teen presenters and their adult coaches.
During the two subsequent years, high school age youth presenters, their teachers and adult group
leaders piloted the TISAM
curriculum with several thousand youth across Washington State. Research
conducted by Washington State University over the two years indicated that the TISAM
having a significant impact on its middle school audiences. In addition, a significant number of the middle
school youth indicated that TISAM
was one of the very best sex education programs they had ever had.
Funding For TISAM
Funding for TISAM
was provided through the federal Abstinence Education Grant of the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. The TISAM
administered by the Washington State Department of Health through an interagency agreement with the
University of Washington’s College of Education.
TISSAM. Take It Seriously: Sex, Abstinence & Media
With the passage of Washington’s Healthy Youth Act in 2007, the Washington State Department
of Health sponsored the effort to continue the development of this very promising program.
The revised program, TISSAM
, has been expanded and enriched to present a comprehensive
approach addressing its goal of reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and sexually
transmitted diseases among Washington State’s teenagers.
In order to critically analyze and evaluate the original TISAM
program with the intent of developing a
new comprehensive program, it was important for Teen Futures to remain true to its original vision of the
curriculum as one developed by teens for teens. For this reason, teens across the state were involved
throughout all stages in developing the TISSAM
In the development phase (2007-2008), Teen Futures worked with six groups of high school age teens
across Washington State. These teen groups included original TISAM
presenters in the curriculum
development groups. Other teens also included in the groups had no knowledge of the previous program
and were learning about its contents for the first time.
All the teen groups were asked to revisit every aspect of the TISAM
curriculum, culling the very best
material for the revised curriculum and making decisions about new material that was now needed. Their
suggestions, ideas and choices for images and other materials that needed to be retained, changed
or added have guided all the development efforts of the new revised TISSAM
. The curriculum was
successfully field tested with 8 groups across Washington in 2008-2009.
TISSAM Booster Lessons
During this same period 14 booster lessons for TISSAM
were designed with the help of teen groups
across the state. These lessons are intended for use during the high school years. See Booster Lessons