“The Cycle Show” is an educational, interactive, multimedia, fertility awareness workshop that allows girls to understand what is happening to their bodies as they mature and uses a respectful style with colorful materials, scarves, music, and fun games.

Dr. Elisabeth Raith-Paula, a German physician, created the workshop that recently took place at St. John Vianney Parish in South Burlington.

Kari Beadner was introduced to the Cycle Show in Germany and brought it to the United States, and the response to the debut workshop was so positive she knew she needed to spread it across the country.

In 2019 she reached out to Leah Jacobson, CEO of the Guiding Star Project, to see about adding the Cycle Show to her centers. The Cycle Show has been to 11 states so far.

The night before the workshop, Kari offered a 90-minute parent workshop which gave an outline of what would be discussed the following day. This helped the parents to become familiar with the same terminology used during the workshop to spur further discussions with their daughter at home.

The Cycle Show format allows for open and honest communication between parents and their daughters about these topics which is a relief compared to shame and embarrassment. Parents will like that the Cycle Show uses all the senses in a way girls will understand and retain. It respects the idea that parents are the first teachers when it comes to sex education. There is no religious teaching, discussions on sexual morality, or contraception.

The Guiding Star Cycle Show is an excellent tool to explain menstrual and fertility health to prepubescent girls.

For more information, go to guidingstarproject.com/product/whats-going-on-in-my-body-all-about-the-female-cycle-periods-and-fertility-2.

—Valerie Parzyck is director of family faith formation and youth ministry at St. John Vianney Church in South Burlington.