1999-11-06 / Columnists

The Week at THE ROCK...by Stuart L. Astor

The Week at

The Rock
by Stuart L. Astor

War against HIV/AIDS and other STD's (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) continues in schools throughout the nation as more and more young people become involved in HIV/AIDS awareness programs. In New York City's High Schools, an organization called B.A.S.E. ("Be Active in Self Education" Grants Program) provides grants of up to $1000 each year to encourage students to develop their own programs. Last year FRHS was awarded $500.

The grant was used for an effective poster campaign. This year, Far Rockaway's AIDS Awareness team has applied for another grant. The team, consisting of Angelines Yaport, Joseph Santiago, Starsheema Drake, Timothy Edwards, Danielle Rose, Shamika Wheeler and Faculty Adviser, Mrs. Pat Healy, hopes to use the grant money for an award to be presented at graduation to the student or students who have done the most to educate their peers about the prevention of HIV/AIDS and STD, as well as their dangers.

This grant will supplement a mandated program for New York City Public High Schools that already includes a number of requirements. These were explained to the FRHS faculty and staff on Staff Development Day (Election Day), November 2, 1999, by Mrs. Healy and Mrs. Betty Rothbart, health coordinator for the Queens High School Superintendency. Each public high school, for instance, must teach a minimum of six HIV/AIDS lessons per year at each grade level. Each school must create at least one Health Resource Room (HRR) where information on sexually transmitted diseases and other health issues, including AIDS, is available to students. The HRR must be open at least 10 periods each week. Each school must form an HIV/AIDS Education Team. This team must include, at a minimum, at least one parent, a student, an HRR staff member, an assistant principal and the principal. Team members plan how HIV/AIDS education is provided in the school, review educational materials and enlist the help of outside agencies to assist the school in its effort to provide effective HIV/AIDS education. Each school must also provide an HIV/AIDS information training session for parents each year.

Further information on HIV/AIDS programs in the public high schools can be obtained from the HIV/AIDS Technical Assistance Project, available on the internet at www.taproject.com.


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