Meet MYCouncil Member-Courtney Simmons

Over the next few months, we will be running features on our Mississippi Youth Council (MYCouncil) members. MYCouncil is made up of 10 passionate youth activists from across Mississippi that support and promote high-quality comprehensive sex education for all young people. They work to ensure that young people have a voice in the debate around what gets taught in Mississippi schools. Follow MYCouncil on Facebook.

MSF Announces Focus4Teens Counties

Mississippi First recently received a $3,072,999.75 5-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Reproductive Health for the Focused Pregnancy Prevention for Mississippi Teens (Focus4Teens) project. Focus4Teens will develop the capacity of health center partners through a comprehensive training and technical assistance program to provide youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services and increase the number of youth accessing and receiving these services by working with youth-serving partners. Referral systems will be developed to link vulnerable youth to care and to increase awareness of health services in the community. Mississippi First will be working with partners in Coahoma County, Quitman County, and Tunica County.

MSF Receives $3M Grant for Focus4Teens


Mississippi First Receives $3M Grant for Focused Pregnancy Prevention for Mississippi Teens Program

Jackson, MS—Mississippi First received a $3,072,999.75 5-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Reproductive Health for the Focused Pregnancy Prevention for Mississippi Teens (Focus4Teens) project. Mississippi First is one of three organizations nationally that was awarded funding for this five-year cooperative agreement (DP15-1508: Working with Publicly Funded Health Centers to Reduce Teen Pregnancy among Vulnerable Populations). Focus4Teens will expand access to and use of youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services for vulnerable youth ages 15-19 in regions in Mississippi with high teen birth rates. This grant will have a huge impact on teen health in Mississippi.

The Facts about How to Put on a Sock

Mississippi’s sex ed law, known as House Bill 999, prohibits condom demonstrations in classrooms. In 201 , Sanford Johnson, Deputy Director at Mississippi First, participated in a teacher training on the abstinence-plus curriculum Draw the Line/Respect the Line through Mississippi First’s work with CHART (Creating Healthy and Responsible Teens).

How to Make the Implementation of High-quality Abstinence-plus Programs Easier for School Districts

House Bill 999 (HB 999) mandated that all public school districts adopt a sexuality education policy starting the 2012-2013 school year.CHART is one of the policies that school districts can adopt to be in compliance with HB 999. Today, 28 school districts across Mississippi have adopted CHART. As we reflect on our work with CHART over the last three years, we discovered two obstacles that greatly impact the ability of school districts to implement sex education across our state.

Mississippi First Launches Mississippi Youth Council, Calls for Applicants


Mississippi First is proud to announce the launch of the Mississippi Youth Council (MYCouncil). Members of MYCouncil take a grassroots approach to comprehensive sexuality education and other related sexual and reproductive health issues by mobilizing communities to speak out and get involved in an issue that is extremely important to young people today.

The Truth about Peppermint Pattie: The Real Story of Sex Ed in Mississippi

Dear Slate, Cosmopolitan, Wonkette, Salon, and others interested in the “Peppermint Pattie” story:

We appreciate your sudden interest in our fight here in Mississippi to ensure that children get medically accurate, evidence-based, and age-appropriate sex education in their public schools. We are writing to tell you that facts matter, whether in a sex education curriculum or in a national news item.

SIECUS Releases New Sex Education Report about Mississippi

aJACKSON, MS—SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) announces the release of their new report titled, Sexuality in Education in Mississippi: Progress in the Magnolia State. The report highlights the work in Mississippi after the passage of House Bill 999 during the 2011 state legislative session.