Tasha Lawton, an Australian mother and film maker together with Share the Dignity, has created Period Talk, Australia’s first education module designed to get kids talking about periods, removing the taboo and embarrassment that has surrounded the subject.
Period Talk has been made for kids in years 5 – 8 (ages 9 – 13). The course covers the cycles, environmental impacts, PMS, nutrition and pain management, sanitary product options, changes to bodies and minds, healthy periods, boys and periods, cultural differences and the homeless and menstruation. Designed to be taught over a four-week period, the program provides teacher notes, talking prompts, activities, a parent letter and poster. The program is delivered by kids, for kids.
It was while making a documentary titled ‘HerStory’ that Tasha Lawton heard many ‘first period’ stories which often included tales of shame and embarrassment. Tasha believes that as long as the topic remains something people feel uncomfortable talking about, the shame and embarrassment will continue. “Really in 2018 we shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about periods, something that half of the population experiences. Period Talk will not only educate our kids respectfully, but will open the dialogue to more meaningful conversations and greater care of one another.”
A partnership with Share the Dignity has made this resource possible. $10 from every sale goes directly to the charity, which provides sanitary products to homeless women, women at-risk and those experiencing domestic violence. Share the Dignity Founder and Managing Director, Rochelle Courtenay values the partnership, “Share the Dignity realised whilst it was important to help end period poverty, it was just as important to provide education around menstrual literacy. That’s why we have teamed up with Period Talk. The goal is to have Period Talk in every classroom and every home. This program is crucial when it comes to normalising the conversation and smashing the shame and taboo around periods.”
Period Talk offers a school based program ($99) and a family program ($49). Tasha Lawton believes the family program will help parents create a home where periods can be discussed freely. “With aids like our animations, activities and content presented by kids, parents will be able to overcome their own nerves and help present the topic in a relaxed way.”
Essie, aged 12 says “I loved the fact there were boys in the videos and really connected with the format. I thought the questions asked in each video were on the mark and answered my own questions. I didn’t know about the menstrual cup and the cultural viewpoints. I thought the experiments with the tampons were a good idea because I didn’t know about the different sizes.”
To purchase the resource and start the conversation head to periodtalk.com.au.
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