About Pono Choices

About the Curriculum

Pono Choices: A Culturally Responsive Teen Pregnancy and STI Prevention Program is a scripted, 10-module, 9.5-hour curriculum that provides middle school youth with the knowledge and skills necessary to reduce their risk of unintended pregnancy and STIs by providing medically accurate information within a Native Hawaiian place-based framework. Pono Choices draws from social learning, self-regulation, and developmental assets theories, and it has been developed through a collaborative workgroup process.

Pono Choices:

  1. Is a national Maternal Child Health best practice.
  2. Has been reviewed by the federal Office of Adolescent Health for medical accuracy.

Pono Choices is intended to be delivered where youth ages 11 to 13 in Hawai‘i congregate or go to for sexual health education. Such settings may include schools, community centers, or health clinics. The number of sessions implemented will vary based on the schedules of each site; however, it is strongly recommended for all ten of the lessons to be delivered in their entirety and in sequential order. The Pono Choices curriculum is flexible and has been designed to accommodate individual sites’ schedules so that the recommended sequential delivery may be reached.

The Pono Choices curriculum was developed and packaged between 2010 and 2013 with funding awarded to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Center on Disability Studies from the federal Office of Adolescent Health. It is the first teen pregnancy and STI prevention curriculum developed exclusively for youth in Hawai‘i. The developers of the curriculum represent UH, ALU LIKE, Inc., and Planned Parenthood of Hawai‘i.

About the Study

The curriculum was piloted in 2011 in two public middle schools (Hawai‘i Island and Oahu) and is being studied in 34 Hawai‘i public and public charter schools participating in a randomized controlled trial. The study runs from 2012-2015 with teachers that were trained by the developers to implement the curriculum with fidelity. External evaluator IMPAQ International (formerly Berkeley Policy Associates) is conducting the study’s impact analysis examining the impact of the Pono Choices program on initiating sexual activity and avoiding unprotected sexual intercourse.