Indiana Pregnancy Prevention Program Emphasizes Teen ‘Value’

IMG_0168 (005) (006)Imagine a class of 6th graders watching an instructor crumple a $20 bill and then she points out “…the bill still retains its value.” And just like the bill, a youngster, who may have made a poor choice, still retains his or her value.  It’s part of a groundbreaking curricula developed over a five-year period by a team to reduce teen pregnancy and other risk factors, said Jason Frederick, health educator. Launched by PATH, Inc., of Portage, Positive Potential is the first Indiana developed evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention program; now being expanded into Kentucky and other states, reaching upwards of 8,000 students. Rather than emphasizing “no” as is the traditional approach, this program stresses that decisions and choices of students should be influenced by recognition of their personal value, purpose and potential. Launched in 14 different schools involving 6th through 9th grades, this study impacted 1176 students. The program aims to reduce risk factors by giving students “skills and knowledge” to help them make healthier choices. For example, students who participated were 86% more likely to talk to a parent or trusted adult about their feelings regarding sexual activity. “So we are sharing a positive approach to show that their choices and decisions impact their life,” Jason added. Other team members were Jeremias Alicea, Toni Jongkind, and Jaime Rogers.  Picture shows Jamie (front left), Toni, Jeremias (back left) and Jason.

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