About the WISE Initiative

WISE is a national initiative that supports schools in implementing quality, sex education in order to prepare our nation's youth for life-long health and well being.  Each WISE partner works directly with school staff using the WISE Method to create a sustainable, sex education program that meets the local needs of the school and the students they serve.  The WISE Method, detailed in the toolkit, is a flexible approach, based on years of best practice research, that helps schools identify, select and implement a curriculum of their choosing. The goals of WISE are two-fold: 1) to support the implementation of sex education; and 2) to help expand what we know about implementing sex education by sharing important lessons, successes, challenges and resources.  

Ultimately, sex education is institutionalized in a school setting when it becomes an ongoing part of a school’s curricula. Once sex education is institutionalized, the necessary supports (e.g., policy, community, human resource, financial, etc.) exist to sustain sex education over time.

The first phase of the WISE Initiative implementation (2009 – 2011) funded projects in seven locations (California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, New York, Oregon, and Washington State). A second phase of WISE began in fall 2011 and has added four additional sites, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Lousiana joined WISE in 2015.

Led by the Grove Foundation, the WISE initiative is supported by a collaboration of regional and national funders.


Many organizations and individuals have shared their experiences and expertise to contribute to the accomplishments of the WISE Initiative and the development of this toolkit. WISE Partners’ willingness to share their successes, challenges, and tools and resources greatly contributed to this toolkit ensuring it is grounded in the tireless, everyday work of sex education champions. WISE has also benefited from the advice and assistance of countless national organizations and advisors, including from among the WISE funding community.