Gift Profile: Puberty Education Books

Photo of Marni SommerPhoto of Caitlin GruerMargaret Scmit







The Department of Sociomedical Sciences has received a generous gift from Sid and Helaine Lerner to enable the Gender, Adolescent Transitions and Environment (GATE) program spearheaded by Prof. Marni Sommer to add to its complement of activities promoting menstruation and puberty content that is culturally adapted for different contexts in low- and middle-income country contexts around the world. Prof. Sommer and her team, Caitlin Gruer (Department of Sociomedical Sciences, MPH 2014) and Margaret Schmitt (Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, MPH 2013), will focus their efforts on identifying new avenues for scaling up the development and dissemination of this content across low-income contexts.

The primary aim is to contribute to the effort to reduce on-going taboos and stigma around menstruation and to enable the provision of better support and information to girls around the world transitioning through puberty. The team will strengthen and build global networks with local, national, and international collaborators including those from outside the discipline of public health such as journalists, advertisers, publishers, and marketers. They will also expand the number of puberty books developed and reaching girls in countries worldwide, through hard and digital copy dissemination, including creating content targeting low-income girls growing up in the USA. Lastly, the team will work to identify and utilize new channels for effective dissemination of educational material through traditional, digital, visual, and audio approaches, including partnerships with new digital platforms, and private and public sector partnerships.