PARENTS

I think the KNOW class, Isa’s instruction, and the peer dialogue helped my daughter to explore a lot of issues. With so much information online and sexual content in the media, teenagers are left with a lot to sort out. They need dialogue with wise elders, people who have traveled the paths they will soon travel, and they need peer dialogue, others like them to figure out what is most important in the current moment. KNOW has been a safe supportive community that has helped my daughter talk about and sort out sexuality, culture and identity.

I am noticing as a parent, that I have a lot of trust that my daughter will be able to make good decisions for herself after participating in KNOW for two years. I am able to relax and support her as she stretches into new freedoms that come with being 16.
— Claudia
I am so grateful that Wisebodies exists and that my daughters have access to a gifted teacher and a wonderful community of peers. They are learning about sexuality in a warm home, filled with art, flowers, plants and the smell of delicious food. I love the warmth of the space Isa creates and the way she facilitates conversations among children and adults. All topics are approached with thoughtfulness, humor, and a sensitivity to what each group needs at a particular moment. I love the hands-on activities and creation of beautiful useful items, like natural menstrual pads, herbal teas, natural salves and potions for self care. Everyone feels safe, accepted and empowered to discuss, question and express. I believe these classes are helping my children grow into confident women who have a deep appreciation and respect for their bodies and themselves and the bodies and selves of future partners. I wish all kids had this kind of safe, wholesome and nourishing environment to learn about sex!
— Sarah
We had no idea what an important part of our kids’ lives WiseBodies classes would become. Our entire family has been truly enriched by the experience and we feel so fortunate to have these classes available to us. Isa is a teacher that deeply listens to her students and takes great care with their experience in her classes.
— The Collins Family
Isa’s KNOW class is more than a class...it is a land for teens: welcoming, casual, fun, private, engaging and remarkable. A place to be who you are, ask and discuss what you’ve been wondering, challenge, imagine, and laugh. We all need a place like WiseBodies...bombarded as we are with conflicting messages and graphic images that make it hard to navigate the terrain of sexuality...luckily for the teens in KNOW, the compass points evolve together: knowledge of the body, respect for self and others, who we are as individuals, what we can offer and express, open hearts and minds.

My son went reluctantly to the first class, but quickly started making cornbread with Isa in her colorful kitchen as the others arrived, and from then on was glad to go and reluctant to leave. The class itself became something of their own making, too...clearly they built something of value with Isa over a string of Fall and Winter Tuesday evenings.

I would recommend the class wholeheartedly. Quite simply, Isa is amazing.
— Lisa M. Ross
Isa combines an encyclopedic knowledge of sexuality education with a deep and abiding passion for it. Teaching people, both young and old, about this aspect of their beings is clearly central to her life’s mission.
— Anne Undeland
“I wish I had a group like this when I was growing up. So that it all wasn’t left unsaid. I think it is amazingly wonderful that my daughter has a safe place to learn and share and question all there is to question about growing up.”
— Amy O'Shea
“Isa and her Wisebodies classes gave my teenager a lot of good information about sex, reproductive health, and relationships–but just as important, he developed an open, interested, healthy attitude toward these topics that can be so charged and daunting.

The class included both girls and boys, and it was wonderful to see the teens comfortable together while learning from Isa, from each other, and from parents. It was his favorite learning activity of the week, and not just for the awesome popcorn.

As a parent, I had fun participating at the ends of classes, and I’m so grateful that my kid has gotten such a great grounding in a topic of lifelong importance!
— Ellen Harris-Braun, Certified Professional Midwife
“I can’t tell you how excited I was a year ago to hear that Isa was starting up sex education classes for kids again. Ever since my now-rising-eighth grader was in kindergarten and I heard a parent of an older child rave about Isa’s skills in the classroom, I knew that I would want to be a part of Isa’s classes in future. Fast-forward seven years, and I can say that I feel extremely lucky to have been able to have my daughter benefit from Isa’s confidence, grace and expertise in teaching and talking about sometimes-awkward topics. We always looked forward to Wednesdays with the girls’ group at Isa’s house every week - it was a grounded, friendly, open, simply lovely chunk of time of the week.

Isa is fabulously skilled at working with children of a wide age range. She listens to them with respect, enjoys their company, and is able to create a balance of freedom and structure that kids seem to respond to beautifully. I have great confidence in Isa’s teaching abilities and my daughter and I excitedly look forward to joining the new series of classes starting this Fall.
— Nina Kelly
“Thanks a million times over for this amazing work you created and carried forward for these fortunate kids. May it continue!!
— Sondra Loring

STUDENTS

WiseBodies is a way to learn about bodies, sex, botany, and about yourself. You always walk in the door to the delicious smell of something baking. We have a lovely snack and then we go into the classroom to talk, do some hands-on activities in the kitchen or go for walks in the woods. We learned about sex and the reproductive system. But you only have to talk about what you feel comfortable talking about. We learned about botany and healing herbs. We made boxes and made bags with different herbs. We also go for walks in the woods and play group games. You get to meet new people from different schools. Going there has helped me grow, learn, and become myself. It is a great program and a great way to learn. Thank you Isa!
— Ruby, 9
I have been a part of the WiseBodies community for two years now and I can truthfully say that the classes I have attended and the people I have met through the community have shaped the way I think and will stay with me forever. Every week I could count on three things from my WiseBodies class: a great meal, amazing conversations and a meaningful learning environment. It’s not every day you find a space so full of open minded people who are willing to learn and share their integrity. WiseBodies students are taught a skill set they will use for the rest of their lives. They are learning everything from simple human anatomy to how to say no and stand up for themselves in difficult situations. These classes have helped me explore gender, sexuality, personal identification, anatomy, body image and society. The curriculum and thoughtful manner of teaching has opened my eyes to the world and led me to question the way sexuality education is treated today. Anyone, of any age, at any stage in life, can benefit from whole being sexuality education like WiseBodies.
— Mae, 16
“‘There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.” - Jane Austin

WiseBodies is a wonderful after-school class that teaches the mind, body, and soul to work as one. The atmosphere is calm, controlled, focused, safe, and learning friendly. Herbal tea is drunk and meaningfully chosen food is eaten, as we learn of what good this food and drink does for our bodies, and that in this world, we are who we are and nobody can change us, no matter what anybody may say. A variety of topics are covered, including a small topic on any questions anyone may have. Overall, many people would be able to learn from this class, even if you may think you know all there is to know. This class is greatly recommended!
— Emily, 13
“My family heard about WiseBodies and KNOW through another family. I was very skeptical at first, but it quickly became the best part of my week. KNOW creates a comfortable environment that makes it easy to talk about sexuality—something I like to talk about anyway—but rarely have the opportunity to do so. We also go on trips every once and a while, from going to the local drug store so we can practice buying condoms and asking the cashier questions, to preparing for gay pride, shopping for outfits and glitter; it can feel weird, but it’s also almost always lots of fun.
— Aidan, 15
“I love “In This Circle” because we are like our own little family. Each girl is like a little bird, different and beautiful. We are not yet ready to fly away from our safe, cozy nest that is filled with popcorn, laughter and knowledge. But slowly, we are learning. Learning, so when we take flight, we will soar. Because we are confident, and we are strong.
— Anna, 12
“This class is great and it’s something I looked forward to every week. I made some very good friends here, everything was super-fun and everything was made comfortable to talk about.
— Olivia, 13
“It was an entirely friendly and comfortable place to learn and talk about anything related to human sexuality (or anything else).
— Will, 15
“There was a great group of friends and good experiences. We read books about our bodies and had good discussions. Every day we would make popcorn and apple sauce and we had great food!
— Georgia, 12
“I enjoyed the class and all the information. Isa made it fun and comfortable to talk about sex and our bodies. And we got to eat really good food!
— Lily, 15

Educators

I am writing this letter in support of Isa Coffey, who worked at our school, Satellite Academy High School, for four years (1996 - 2000).

Ms Coffey’s position at the school was a unique one, created specifically for her. She split her full-time position between teaching health classes and being a health counselor. Although we have always had health classes at Satellite, which primarily focused on the reproductive system, sex education and making healthy personal choices, Ms Coffey raised the level of that curriculum immensely. Not only was her own professional preparation in those specific areas, but her attention to detail in her preparation for classes, her willingness to engage any questions, and her frankness about the intimate details of sex and sexuality made for an especially positive learning experience for our students.

As a result of Ms Coffey’s classes, students immediately felt comfortable talking with her privately about their many health concerns. It was a learning moment for our whole community. For example, asthma is a condition we have long known is common among our students, but we were surprised to find how many young women students suffered from chronic (and in some cases severe) anemia. Ms Coffey worked with students, and sometimes their families, to find sustainable, affordable, understandable solutions to a wide variety of health concerns. Ms Coffey’s health work with individual students opened our faculty’s eyes to the huge, often invisible, health issues that were yet another obstacle to their ability to be successful in school, and all these years later, we still miss the security of having such a knowledgeable, compassionate and creative health expert at our school every day.

I believe Ms Coffey’s ability to connect with both young women and men around these intimate, intense, and important topics of sexuality, sexual health, and also general teen health is quite unique. I would recommend her without question to any group or school or program wishing for services in these areas; their young people will be grateful, healthier, and so much safer.
— Sarah Blos, Director, Satellite Academy High School
“It has been my pleasure to work with Isa Coffey recently in her Sexuality Workshops with The Mountain Road School. During my time teaching alongside her, I witnessed her amazing way with putting kids at ease with talking about sexuality. Her knowledge and perspectives are deep. She teaches and leads in an expert way, so that everyone feels comfortable and empowered to speak. As an adult, I learned a lot in the process of teaching with her in these workshops, both facts, and more importantly, comfort in talking about issues of sexuality.

Isa brings years of experience to the classroom and her presence is always reassuring. Seeing kids come in nervous, and ten minutes later opening up and asking questions and telling stories showed me what an incredible mentor Isa is.

Her dedication to students and the teaching of Human Sexuality is inspiring, and working with her has been a transformative experience. This, I believe is a testament to her effectiveness as a person who has realized her true calling and purpose.

I highly recommend Isa for teaching Sexuality, and would bend over backwards to send my own children to her for this education.
— Josh Wood, Assistant Director, Flying Deer Nature Center
“Isa’s sexuality classes were simply amazing and transformative for those young women at the Women’s Herbal Conference, not to mention the older women as well! So much depth, laughter, humor, and wisdom sown into her presentations.
— Rosemary Gladstar, Founder, Women's Herbal Conference

Professionals

Isa Coffey knows how to get teenagers to listen, speak honestly, and show respect for others. Her unique WISEBODIES is an approach to sex education that is less about sex and more about the understanding of differences among us that usually (and hopefully) comes with maturity. All parents should feel comfortable trusting Isa to offer their children a safe environment to discuss their deep personal questions about their sexual and personal identities and learn evidence based information about their changing bodies, both physically and emotionally.”
— Nancey Rosensweig, CNM, Catskill Holistic GYN/Midwifery