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SRAE 2023 Toolkit

This toolkit is actively updated with resources to improve your application for SRAE funds. Check back frequently!!

The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) has announced $20 million in awards for Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE). The deadline for this application is July 18, 2023.

The Dibble Institute is dedicated to your success as an applicant! We hope this toolkit will help you win one of the 2023 SRA grants.

Love Notes Sexual Risk Avoidance Adaptation (SRA) is the version of Love Notes that meets all the criteria of this funding announcement as it complies with SRA criteria and is evidence based.

Love Notes is the only evidence based program that HHS has placed on their Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program list that both reduces adolescents’ risk for experiencing a pregnancy by 46%, delays initiation of sexual activity, and helps youth who are already sexually active return to a lifestyle without sex.

Love Notes SRA is medically accurate, age appropriate*, culturally and linguistically appropriate, and trauma-informed. The program does not normalize teen sex.

*The Love Notes SRA Middle School Adaptation is appropriate for ages 10-14 (LN SRA includes an age-appropriate adaption for middle school youth in the appendix and a separate middle school student workbook and set of activity cards)

Love Notes SRA

SRAE Love Notes Correlations

The Love Notes curriculum teaches the benefits associated with each of the following:

Love Notes
Success-sequencing for poverty prevention
The benefits of delayed sexual activity or returning to a lifestyle without sex;
Healthy relationships
Goal setting
Resisting sexual coercion
Dating violence
other youth risk behaviors such as underage drinking and illicit drug use

without normalizing teen sexual activity

Diversity awareness
Positive Youth development approaches
  Love Notes SRA
Ensure that the unambiguous and primary emphasis and context for each topic is a message to youth that normalizes the optimal health behavior of avoiding non-marital sexual activity Love Notes SRA focuses on optimal health by teaching teens and young adults relationship skills that encourage and motivate them to make healthy relationship decisions. It clearly explains the benefits of avoiding non-marital sexual activity, and it does not normalize teen sex.
Needs of LGBTQ+ Youth are taken into consideration in the program’s design. Love Notes is designed for a vulnerable audience of at-risk youth, including LGBTQIA2S+. The lessons cover important topics for today’s issues including sexual consent, sexual assault, cyber bullying, online porn, sexting, drugs & alcohol – and their impact on relationships. The programs have been written with inclusive language, scenarios, and content that applies to LGBTQIA2S+ youth.
Addresses the Trauma needs of vulnerable youth Trauma-informed Program
Medically accurate and complete All medical information has been referenced to peer reviewed publications by educational, scientific, governmental, or health organizations.
Age-Appropriate Love Notes SRA may be taught from ages 10– 19, depending on the risk factors experienced by the population.
Based on adolescent learning and developmental theories for the age group receiving the education Love Notes SRA is an adaptation of Love NotesLove Notes is listed as an evidence-based pregnancy prevention programs with the Office of Adolescent Health. The curriculum is packed with lively activities, designed specifically to engage youth, that use real-life relationship scenarios written by diverse teens and young adults.
Culturally sensitive, recognizing the experiences of youth from diverse communities, backgrounds, and experiences. Each program was developed for high-needs urban and rural youth, utilizes current youth culture and examples from youth of all different types of backgrounds and experiences. It has been successfully implemented with African American youth, Hispanic/Latino youth, American Indian/Alaska Native-youth, and socioeconomically disadvantaged youth, and those who experience the highest rates of teen pregnancy and childbirth.
Any information provided on contraception is medically accurate and complete and ensures that students understand that contraception offers physical risk reduction, but not risk elimination. Love Notes SRA and Relationship Smarts PLUS SRA clearly articulate the message and builds skills to motivate youth to avoid STIs and pregnancy. All lessons contain medically accurate information and, uniquely, build motivation by focusing on the needs of children for safe and stable family lives. Lessons ensure that teens understand the difference between risk reduction and risk elimination.
Education does not include demonstrations, simulations, or distribution of contraceptive devices. None of the programs includes demonstrations, simulations, or distribution of contraceptive devices.
Applies core curriculum components that have been found to be effective in positive youth behavior change, especially:
Delaying initiation of sexual activity until marriage
Returning to a lifestyle without sex
Refraining from non-marital sexual activity
Intervention can be adapted with developer approval to become more culturally responsive and linguistically appropriate
Fidelity implementation tools available


To provide data that demonstrate how Love Notes systematically applies key program elements that have been found to be effective in positve youth behavior change which leads to preventing and reducing teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and sexual activity, refer to the following studies:

Barbee, A. P., Cunningham, M. R., Antle, B. F., Langley, C. N. (2022). Impact of a relationship-based intervention, Love Notes, on teen pregnancy preventionFamily Relations, 1-20.


Impact of Two Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Interventions on Risky Sexual Behavior: A Three-Arm Cluster Randomized Control Trial(pdf). Anita P. Barbee, MSSW, PhD, Michael R. Cunningham, PhD, Michiel A. van Zyl, PhD, Becky F. Antle, MSSW, PhD, and Cheri N. Langley,PhD, MPH, 2016.


Cunningham, M. R., van Zyl, M. A., & Borders, K. W. (2016). Evaluation of Love Notes and Reducing the Risk in Louisville, Kentucky. Final Evaluation Report to the University of Louisville Research Foundation, Louisville, KY

Love Notes was designed with two trauma informed goals in mind:

  1. To directly empower youth: Help teens and young adults who have experienced childhood adversity to make meaning of their pasts by looking at the patterns they experienced to better understand how these earlier events have influenced their lives and choices. Most importantly, to support youth in defining what they want in their relationships, their present or future family, and for their life goals. Yet defining isn’t enough. It is essential to equip young people with the knowledge and skills to build self-efficacy and confidence to move towards their goals.
  2. To prevent of Adverse Childhood Experiences in the children these youth have or may have in the future: An important hook throughout the curriculum is how Intimate Partner Violence, unstable and turbulent relationships, and unplanned pregnancies affect children.  These concepts are conveyed through upbeat and empowering activities.  Vulnerable youth immediately understand the connection between family structure and outcomes for children and they long to protect to their current or eventual children.  We build upon that protective, empathetic instinct.  We tap their aspirations and give them a huge trove of knowledge and skills to help them move towards their aspirations.

Additionally, The Dibble Institute has developed Trauma Informed Teaching Tips to help assure the safety and well-being of the young people you serve.

To help you meet the required annual DEI training the Dibble Institute is pleased to announce that we have booked Dr. Bryant Marks from the National Training Institute on Race & Equity at Morehouse College.  Click here to learn more about Dr. Marks and the Institute.

Dr. Marks will provide a 3 hour DEI training for all Dibble clients on December 13th from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST. and each second Wednesday of December thereafter.

The cost is $45 per participant.  We will open the registration for this training in October after the grants are announced. 

Third Party Agreement/Memorandum of Understanding

The Dibble Institute is  pleased to sign an MOU with you as part of your grant application. To help us understand your plans, please send an email to Aaron Larson at Aaron@ with the following information:

  • What program(s) you plan to use (If you are not planning to use Love Notes SRA EBP, please  explain to help us understand your thinking.)
  • A brief overview of your project – setting, youth targeted, proposed timing of instruction (how many hours/days/weeks), number of youth reached, and instructional hours
  • Recruitment/retention plans
  • Evaluation approach and research question(s), if including
  • How you plan to implement with fidelity and what adaptations, if any, you propose.

Please complete this form as part of your planning and budgeting process. We will need to see it prior to signing an MOU with your organization.

Download the SRA 2023 Materials and Training Agreement

Art supplies for Love Notes SRA could total up to $200 per 30 participants. Please budget accordingly.

The Dibble Institute is pleased to consult with you as you write your grant and after it has been awarded strategies to sustain your activities over time. We have demonstrated over our nine years of implementing a federal grant, how to bring relationship education cost-effectively to large numbers of youth by using existing community systems.

We can also help you develop your sustainability plans by identifying alternative funding streams that support relationship education beyond your grant. Our Dibble Team is ready to research opportunities on behalf of your organization, curating a personalized list of funding. Your Funding Opportunity Report will provide all the relevant information needed to choose new funding opportunities, build relationships with the funder, and begin the application process when funds are made available. For $99, you can purchase a funding opportunity report that includes:

  • A relevant list of opportunities for your organization at Federal, State, and Local Levels
  • Description of each grant or other funding type
  • Relevant dates, deadlines, and information to apply
  • A comprehensive list of Dibble resources to support your application
  • A one-on-one meeting with Dibble staff to review the report and talk about next steps

Please email Kay Reed, Executive Director, at kayreed @ to set up a time to consult.