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People often ask Wendy how Puberty: The Wonder Years™ began.

Well, that story starts when my children were young and began going to school… a school that did not teach any sex education. I wanted to ensure that my kids received a better sex education than I did, so I volunteered to teach sex education for the 5th and 6th grades. Since I’m a registered nurse, the school welcomed my offer. I thought that I would model how to teach puberty education and the classroom teachers would become comfortable enough that they would take over the instruction before my children reached those grades. Well, that didn’t happen. I ended up teaching sex education for many years and many students, including my own kids and their friends. The students would greet me in the school hallways with a cheery, “Hello, Puberty Lady!”

At the same time, I was co-authoring the Michigan Model for Health™, an evidence-based comprehensive school health education curriculum. Because of state politics at that time, the Michigan Model did not include any sex education or puberty education in the K-6 curriculum. I decided to fill that gap by creating a puberty education curriculum for grades 4, 5, and 6. With support, encouragement, assistance, and feedback from many people, Puberty: The Wonder Years was first published in 2002. Since that time, it has been revised and updated many times. The 2015 edition was a complete overhaul because the original publisher closed shop, requiring me to redo everything and creating an opportunity to make Puberty: The Wonder Years better than ever. Newly released, the 2021 edition is all digital, allowing educators to access the lessons and teaching resources whether teaching virtually, in-person, or hybrid.

I love what I do and am committed to trying to change the world! Ignorance never helped anyone, so I want to ensure that every young person and their family get the skills and knowledge they need to have a positive puberty experience. If you want to help, let’s talk!

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