March 21, 2003 – Students in the 4th, 5th and 6th grades are invited to take part in the 2003 Abstinence Education Youth Symposiums which will be held Saturday on St. Croix and March 29 on St. Thomas.
The St. Croix program will take place at the Divi Carina Bay Resort; the St. Thomas one will be at Marriott Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort.
In both cases, the theme is "Sexual Abstinence: A Healthy Choice." The program begins at 8 a.m. with breakfast and includes lunch as well. It's to end at 4 p.m.
Sen. Douglas Canton and the Health Department are sponsoring the symposiums. Canton said in a release distributed on Thursday that while registering in advance is desirable, no young person just showing up will be turned away. Parental consent is necessary. Patricia O'Reilly in Canton's office said that parents may send a note with their children giving their approval.
Canton chairs the Legislature's Health Hospitals and Human Services Committee. He said the program aims to reach children ages 7-11 so they will learn to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
"By laying a foundation for development of their value systems at an age when our young people are receptive to guidance and adoption of behavioral principles, over time we can help reverse developing trends in our society," Canton said.
Among the topics to be covered in presentations are "Your Body, Purpose and Hygiene" and "Good Touch, Bad Touch." The videos "Girl to Woman," "Boy to Man" and "Be Smart, Don't Start" will be shown. Health Commissioner Mavis Matthew, Health Department staff members Elsie Chinnery and Veronica Phillips, Education Commissioner Noreen Michael and Dilsa Capdeville of KidsCope will be speaking. And there will be poems, skits and prayers.
On St. Croix, to register, call Canton's office at 712-2279. On St. Thomas, call Delta Edney at 713-9925 or 713-9926.
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