CAS-Carrera Celebrates 26th Annual Parent Graduation

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On Friday, June 1st, The Children's Aid Society’s Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program (CAS-Carrera) held its 26th graduation ceremony for the Parent Family Life & Sexuality Education program (PFLSE) at Hunter College. PFLSE is a multi-week workshop that encourages New York City parents to be their children’s primary source of sexuality information. Led by bilingual CAS-Carrera Sexuality Educators with peer support from promotores (trained community educators), PFLSE provides parents knowledge and strategic approaches to become more actively involved in their children’s development. Since 1986, more than 3,000 parents and guardians have participated in this no-cost community program, which fosters intergenerational learning and family discussion on this essential issue.

Dr. Michael A. Carrera, who launched CAS-Carrera in 1984, urged the audience of 120 graduates, family, and members of the Children’s Aid Society community to “remember to express our sexuality with joy, dignity and positive feelings for ourselves and others.” He reminded parents and guardians that they have no choice but to be “the primary sexuality educators of your own children…Your only choice is how well or poorly you deliver on that obligation.”

Indeed, the research backs this up. In a recent nation-wide survey, teens say parents most influence their decisions about sex and 87% say it would be much easier for them to postpone sex and avoid teen pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents.

Every year, PFLSE Class Valedictorians are chosen to share what they had learned with the audience. Rosalinda Alvira, mother of two sons enrolled in the CAS-Carrera program at the Bronx Preparatory Charter School, observed that “our responsibility as parents is to teach them responsibility in everything they do. Accept and love them just as they are and to accept themselves without fear.” Likewise, Genaro Muñoz, a father of a student at The Children’s Aid Society Community School at P.S./I.S 50, The Vito Marcantonio School, took pride in knowing that he learned “how to be an educator as a parent for my kids and our community.”

We congratulate our graduating parents and their families who will benefit greatly from improving their literacy of one of life’s most important and overlooked subjects.