Planned Parenthood will host its popular Growing Into Healthy Sexuality workshop series this summer, helping families communicate about growing up in a fun, yet sensitive way.

The series will include three Saturday morning sessions, with June 20 for girls, June 27 for boys and July 11 for teens. All sessions will be held at the Planned Parenthood center, located at 916 East Hackberry in McAllen. Each child or teen should be accompanied by an adult family member, such as a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle or the child’s guardian.

Families play an important role in developing sexually healthy children and adolescents. New survey data released by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy revealed that most teens (88 percent) say it would be easier for them to postpone sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents. In addition, six out of ten teens (59 percent) surveyed also said that their parents are their role models for healthy, responsible relationships.

Planned Parenthood’s family workshop provides medically accurate and age-appropriate information, while exploring values and communication skills. Sessions are led by male and female professional sexuality educators, each with many years of experience working with adolescents and parents. Workshop materials, games and activities are reviewed and approved by local community volunteers.

The sessions for girls and boys focus on the emotional and physical changes that occur during puberty. Hygiene, anatomy and healthy habits will be discussed. The session for girls is appropriate for ages 9 to 13, and the one for boys is geared for 10 to 13 year olds.

The session for teens is for males and females ages 14 to 17. Information and activities will focus on decision-making, healthy relationships, abstinence, and the basics of birth control and STD prevention. A section on personal safety, including staying safe on the Internet and cell phones, has been added this year to help young people recognize and avoid sexual coercion, violence and sexting.

Sign-in for all the workshops will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. There is a $5 per person fee for each workshop.

For more information or to register, call 688-3700 or email plannedparenthoodhidalgo@gmail.com.

CUTLINE:- Planned Parenthood will host its Growing Into Health Sexuality series in June and July for girls, boys and teens and their adult family members or guardian. The series will promote family communication and sexual health information, including a new section for teens to prevent sexual coercion and sexting. Shown from a previous workshop is Martha Leos, Planned Parenthood’s Community Education Supervisor, who will conduct some of the workshops. Community educators Marivel Cantu-Ressler and Richard Flores will also be workshop presenters. For more information or to register, call 688-3700.