A non profit organization that teaches teens sex-ed and preventing pregnancy has been chosen to be the beneficiary for the 35th annual WellsFest.

As WJTV’s Margaret-Ann Carter reports “Growing up Knowing” has become so popular they’re expanding their program.

For the last 4 years this Mississippi based group has focused on educating middle school kids on subjects that might be considered taboo.

Parents loved it so much that this year they started a new program for elementary age students.  

No, it’s not math or history, instead growing up knowing is teaching kids something even more important, staying safe and saying no.

“We teach the kids and their parents how to say to no unwanted advances how to correctly name their body parts distinguishing physical boundaries,” Leah Wittenberg, Growing up Knowing program specialist said.

The ‘my body my boundaries’ program isn’t a lesson kids will learn at school instead it’s the beginning of a conversation between kids and their parents.  

“We hope that this is the starting off point that these conversations will continue at home and that the communication will continue and that we really want them to grow up knowing so it’s kind of giving them the tools and skills they need to stay safe,” she said.

Growing up knowing is unique to the magnolia state and teaches an important lesson.

which is the reason they were chosen to be the beneficiary of one of the biggest festivals in Mississippi.  

WellsFest is a three day event is a Caring for Mississippi event and is free to the public. All of the festivities will be on Saturday September 29th at Jamie Fowler Boyle Park.

The event is alcohol and drug free, WellsFest charges no admission or parking fee. The outdoor festival includes a children’s play area, pet parade, 5K run, silent auction, arts and crafts, food vendors, plant sale and a variety of music acts non-stop on two stages.

WellsFest has received state and regional recognitions including a Governor’s Arts Award.  An art auction featuring work from noted Mississippi artists and a golf tournament are held a few days before the festival.