HIV/AIDS Education: Connecting to a New Generation

Teenage Girls Respond to HIV/AIDS Prevention book signing

Some suburban middle school teachers and librarians urged me to do it. I hadn’t thought of reaching out to the middle school population. But they said I would be missing a “grand opportunity” if I wasn’t reading excerpts of “Crooked Road Straight: The Awakening of AIDS Activist Linda Jordan” to middle school students.

“Middle school is about the time that girls began to experiment,” one teacher said.

I guess a lot has changed since I went to middle school. We didn’t talk much about sexual health back then. HIV-AIDS hadn’t yet made it a necessary topic.

My test group of eighth graders at Belizzi Middle School in Hartford nearly made me cry.

They were extraordinary listeners. That’s not to say that my other girls from the YWCA’s girls leadership program at Weaver and Windsor high schools, and the numerous adult book clubs weren’t equally as engaging.

The youngsters made me feel like I was connecting with a new generation.

Their curiosity gave me hope.

HIV-AIDS education is not dead.

I can’t wait for my next two workshops at Bulkeley High.

Can’t wait!!!

    • Diamond Edwards
    • December 16th, 2008

    Dear Tina,
    Thanx for comeing to our school Bellizzi I really loved your book it was great 🙂

    • Yetsybell Gonzalez
    • December 16th, 2008

    Dear Tina,
    Hi i was not at the YWCA so i didnt read your book. I will ask one of my friends to borrow it because they have told me that the like the book alot. So im sad that I wasnt able to meat you and get one of your books but in the future I hope to buy one of your books and be able to talk to you about it. But thank you for taking your time to read this and coming to Bellizzi Middle School. 🙂

    • Keysha Ayala
    • December 16th, 2008

    Dear Tina,

    Thank you for the letter you sent me i do know that your loves one never leave you but living without her is bad because my birthday is december 19 and i am not going to be with her and she is not going to be with me but i want to thank you very much for theletter you have sent me it really made me cry because it was very sentimental because i am a very sensitive girl and i really enjoy your book i felt really bad for the lady. Thank you very much for the letter i hope you write back soon!

    • Susan Dawson
    • December 16th, 2008

    Hi Tina,
    Thank you again for coming in and talking to our YWLC girls. They truly loved your workshop and I know it made an impact on them. I hope you are settling into your new place! Keep in touch and let me know when you’ll be in town again!


    • Aida Mendoza
    • December 16th, 2008

    Dear Tina,
    I appriciate the fact that you took some time out of your day to come to our school. I appriciate that so much I started reading your book and itas really good. Your book really made me think about what some people are going through and that its never easy to live with a sickness like HIV or AIDS.

    • Keysha Ayala
    • December 16th, 2008

    Dear Tina,

    If you would want to write back to me just send it to (

    • Miracle Nazario
    • December 16th, 2008

    Dear Tina,
    sorry I didn’t get a chance to see you the day you came to Bellizzi. I was out that day, my friends told me about the day that you had came. They told me how you read to them and talked to them. I wish I was there that day I would’ve learned a lot from you because my friends did.

    • elise nuccio
    • December 16th, 2008

    Hi, I’m Elise from bellizzi middle. i wasnt here when you came but i hope you come back so i can have a chance to see you. but i cant wait till i get the book because eveyone is tellin me it is an awesome and interesting book. well hope i can see you.
    thank you
    elise nuccio

    • valentina rodriguez
    • December 16th, 2008

    Dear Tina,

    Sorry I wasn’t there when you came to Bellizzi,but i hope to see you the next time you come to bellizzi

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