Copyright 2023 Marline E. Pearson
For the University of Louisville study, not all the content of Love Notes was taught. It
was condensed to fit their camp model design. To make it clear for those who desire
to adhere strictly to the Evidence-Based Program (EBP) model, all the supplemental
content—which we encourage you to use—will be clearly marked by shaded boxes. It is
optional for those strictly following the EBP model.
Love Notes builds assets and strengthens protective factors. It appeals to young people’s
aspirations rather than merely emphasizing what they must avoid. Love Notes engages
young people in learning more about themselves and supports them in cultivating a
vision for their future. Love Notes empowers youth with the skills needed to further their
own personal development, form and maintain healthy relationships, make wise sexual
decisions, and work towards success with education and employment.
All youth, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, have attractions,
emotions, and desires for healthy relationships. All youth need skills and knowledge to
navigate their relationships and intimate lives. This is an inclusive curriculum. Sexual
and gender minority youth is increasingly becoming the common term. But because
it has not yet become widely adopted by youth themselves, we will be using the more
commonly recognized term LGBTQ.
Building Models and Confidence for Healthy Relationships
Many young people today lack models of healthy relationships. A Child Trends survey
of disadvantaged youth reported that while respondents could list general qualities
for healthy relationships when asked if they saw many around them, they said, “No.”
Sadly, they said they had little confidence they would be able to achieve a healthy
relationship despite their aspirations to develop one.2
Love Notes offers young people—including young parents—knowledge of what a healthy
relationship is and isn’t. Young people explore the building blocks of healthy relationships
and are encouraged to identify relationship qualities they find personally important. They
gain insights and skills for handling attractions and choosing partners wisely. Participants
learn some of the key components of healthy relationships that research has identified.
They are able to use these as a guide for what to pay attention to and find out about a
person to whom they are attracted. They are provided several frameworks to help them
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