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Columbus Receives $2.5 Million Grant For Middle School Sex Education

Columbus City Schools Board of Education
David Holm
Columbus City Schools Board of Education

A new $2.5 million grant will support and expand school-based health care services like sex education in Columbus.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced Thursday it received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that will go towards their work in Columbus City Schools. The money will fund a three-year project called Get Real, targeted at 7th and 8th grade students.

Get Real will focus on teen pregnancy prevention in 12 middle schools, reaching 7,000 students.

"You’re starting early, and these are lasting messages and lessons that our students will take with them forever," Columbus City Schools superintendent Talisa Dixon says.

Dixon says the program will be especially important for young Black girls in the city.

"We understand that there are health disparities, and we want to make sure that we provide equity and opportunity for our youngest residents to be provided quality health care that is curriculum-based," she says.

Additional funding will go towards the implementation of parent programs and summer programs, as well as mobile health services.

"It’s important for our students, it’s important for our residents, to say that we have equity for all." Dixon says. "And I think we’re going to be a model to show other cities how it is done, and done well."