WISE Iowa

EyesOpenIowa

EyesOpenIowa (EOI), a statewide nonprofit organization committed to improving adolescent sexual health and teen pregnancy prevention in Iowa communities, took on the role of leading WISE Iowa to advance sex education in Iowa schools. Revised in 2007, Iowa’s Human Growth and Development Mandate requires that schools teach research-based, age-appropriate, and bias-free sex education, creating a supportive climate for delivery of sex education, yet compliance has not been uniform across the state. EOI launched efforts to achieve two goals: 1) to increase awareness among school and district administrators of Iowa’s state policy and 2) to boost the capacity of ready school districts to implement sex education. Iowa’s WISE work has leveraged existing state networks to build awareness about the state sex education requirements.  Upon completing school district capacity assessments, EOI works with administrative stakeholders to assess schools' current policies and practices and provides technical assistance and training in response to school's needs to fully implement evidence-based programs. In this way, EOI has been steadily institutionalizing sex education in Iowa including among some of its largest districts.