Health class is outdated, so Lessonbee wants to fix it – ProWellTech
Sex education in the United States is complicated.
An example: For decades, the United States has invested billions in abstinence programs. Eventually, the schools declined government funding for these programs and promoted a more comprehensive and medically accurate agenda. Even with progress, schools across the country continue to face a legacy of inaccuracies. And the government is still funding abstinence-only programs.
This is bad news for students and for Lessonbee founder Reva McPollom, a change is long overdue. He can personally guarantee how incomplete education in health classes can isolate students.
As a child, McPollom claimed that she was called tomboy and felt confused because she identified herself as a female. The lesson on the danger of stereotypes and gender norms was not taught.
“I felt bad for the sports I liked, for wanting to play drums, I felt wrong for everything I loved or liked or that I also became attached to it as part of my identity,” he said.
The silent suffering, he continues, continued in high school: “If you look at my senior yearbook, as if you weren’t even in it, I completely canceled myself from that point”.
After working as a journalist, digital marketing operator and software engineer, McPollom has returned to its past with a new idea. He founded Lessonbee, a more comprehensive health education curriculum provider to express different scenarios in schools. The company’s goal is to help students avoid what they have had to face: losing the joy of education and feeling worthy enough to learn.
The company sells a curriculum that covers a wide range of topics, from sex education to the race to mental health, which integrates into existing K-12 school districts as an independent course. The topics themselves are then divided into smaller areas of interest. For example, with the launch of the tender unit soon, Lessonbee will address the effects of race and ethnicity on quality of care, maternal health and food insecurity.
Lessonbee has hundreds of educational videos and interactive lessons created by teachers and companies, updated regularly. Each lesson also includes a downloadable guide that describes content, goals and recommendations for homework and quizzes. Lessonbee provides guidance on how to create culturally inclusive education, in line with the standards set by National Health Education and National Sexuality Education.
“It has to satisfy all types of children, regardless of where they are,” said McPollom.
An example scenario in the curriculum includes a student who starts having sex and then loses the cycle. Students are therefore responsible for choosing what to do next, who to talk to and what they should do next time. It’s a “choose your adventure” learning experience.
Students can access the platform and take personalized lessons on different health units, from sex education to mental health and racism. Lessons are held through text message scenarios or gamified situations to make sure students actively interact with the content, McPollom tells ProWellTech.
State education policy is often a nightmare of complexity and politics. This is one of the reasons why few startups try to solve it. If Lessonbee were to achieve its goal, it would start more important conversations about racism and health in a child’s daily life.
McPollom is currently offering the service to school districts, which have limited budgets, and to venture capitalists, who claim to be open to business. So far, the company has 600 schools registered on its platform.
“It’s a non-fundamental academic subject, so it’s the last priority, and there’s only iniquity everywhere,” he said. “There is a discrepancy between the privacy policies in the United States managed differently and somehow determines the quality of the health education you will receive.”
Signing up for Lessonbee has a low price to be more accessible, starting at $ 16 per student every year. Individual courses start at $ 8 per student each year.
Today, McPollom announced that it has raised $ 920,000 in funding.
As for the future, McPollom sees her market health class strategy as Lessonbee’s “Trojan horse”. He wants to integrate the culturally diverse curriculum into social studies or science lessons and cover how interconnected subjects are and their links with inequality and health.
McPollam says the team is developing an anti-racism course to introduce autumn in the wake of recent protests against police brutality. Topics in the anti-racism course include the effect of race and ethnicity on the quality of care, the ways in which racism affects maternal health, structural racism and food insecurity.
“We hope to evolve into this idea of health through the curriculum,” he said. “For health to be effective, for you to actually move the needle, health must be holistic.”