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The Right START program is a respect life curriculum taught by trained, volunteer teachers to 8th graders at Catholic elementary schools and parish schools of religion.
Students today are faced with many life-impacting decisions during high school that affect them now and later in life. The Right START program ensures that these students have proper information when it comes to choices about chastity and abortion.
Right START is based on a five-lesson respect life curriculum where volunteer teachers present information on fetal development, abortion, chastity, and the sanctity of each life created by God. The program culminates with a closing prayer service. The curriculum is multi-modal, utilizing lectures, reading, activities, discussions, videos, and music. In addition, students and teachers receive supplemental materials to reinforce the lessons our educators present in class.
Students who complete the Right START curriculum are able to:
- Understand the physical and spiritual components of being human;
- Name some developmental milestones of an unborn child;
- Understand the significance of Roe v. Wade;
- State the reasons why abortion is wrong even in the "hard" cases;
- Describe the physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences of an abortion;
- Know how to help a friend in an unexpected pregnancy or after an abortion;
- Describe the consequences of pre-marital sexual intimacy;
- Understand how and why to live chastely; and
- Know the importance their choices have on their lives and the impact they can have on others.
Started in 1997 through the Respect Life Apostolate, Right START currently serves 84 day schools and PSR programs and close to 2,000 students in the Archdiocese of St. Louis each year. It currently operates under the Office of Catholic Education and Formation with program coordinators, dedicated and trained volunteer teachers and countless helpers who assemble the materials for each student.
An important aspect of Right START is engaging the parents of the eighth graders. As their child’s first teachers, parents have an important role in sharing the crucial message of life and love. The Right START program includes a Parent Meeting for 8th grade parents held prior to the student program. Parents learn what information will be presented to their students and have an opportunity to talk to Right START teachers about the curriculum. The hope is that parents are empowered to dialogue with their teenagers about these important topics.
- "Thank you for coming and teaching us the Right START program. You were very kind and I learned a lot of things I hadn't known before."
- "I hope with the things you have taught me, I can change somebody's mind and save a life."
- "I liked the program a lot because you answered any questions I had. Also you taught things I never knew and gave me new knowledge."
- "I had no idea that babies could feel pain when they are aborted. That is awful and the babies have no way of preventing it or knowing why they are suffering even though they did nothing wrong."
- "Thank you so much for taking such a difficult subject and making it easy to understand. You really taught me what true love means."
- "I really liked the program. I liked how it wasn't awkward - you just came right out and told us how it is."
- "I enjoyed how you talked to us on our level and made learning fun. I also liked how you used examples to back up what you were saying."
- "Right START taught me how chastity is very important and that abortion is a very horrible thing to do to a human being."
- "I enjoyed the program because it taught us about the next couple of years in high school and how we shouldn't do things we don't want to."
- "I learned about abortion and how terrible it really is. I know now how to talk to people that might be thinking about abortion."
- "You were very helpful to me today. You inspired me to live a pure life and wait to have sex."