Recently my daughter's class took a field trip to the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education in Raleigh. My older daughter took the same field trip when she was in fifth grade, but I didn't attend it. So, this was my first experience with the center, and I was impressed.
The Poe Center is a nonprofit organization started in 1980 as an educational center for school children on topics ranging from nutrition to the dangers of drugs and alcohol to puberty. The goal of the organization, according to its website, is to "educate and empower North Carolina children."
Their programs are age-specific based on the abilities and maturity of the children they serve. On this particular day, the students in my daughter's class had two lectures: One on the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and one on puberty. Both were excellent. They were led by engaging, professional and well-versed educators.
The puberty session clearly caused some snickers, but in between the snickers there was a lot of good information imparted. As I drove home from the field trip I asked the kids in my car, including my daughter, if they had any questions. They shook their heads violently, as I expected. But the next morning at breakfast my daughter did have some questions which I gladly answered.
So, in essence, what the Poe Center did was to start a dialogue between me and my daughter about topics that are typically hard to broach with our children. We all know that when it comes to parenting communication is key.
I say bravo to the Poe Center. Definitely worth a visit.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.