TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION DAYS IN VALLEY VIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT

TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION DAYS IN VALLEY VIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT

Will County Health Educators Participate in Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

Author: Family Health Services Staff/Monday, May 15, 2017/Categories: Home Page, Press Release, NEWS

Rate this article:
No rating
With May being National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, health educators from the Family Health Services Division at the Will County Health Department are getting ready for special “Making a Difference” and “Making Proud Choices” days during the lunch periods at the Valley View School District’s Hubert Humphrey Middle School and Bolingbrook High School.

During the 2016-17 school year, Health Department Educators have been teaching the CDC evidence-based pregnancy prevention curricula at Bolingbrook High School, Phoenix Experience Alternative School, and Hubert Humphrey Middle School. Will County Health Department Program Manager Cindy Jackson applied for an Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grant to implement this program in the Valley View School District after the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) approached the health department. Bolingbrook was identified by IDHS for this grant due to the higher rate of teen births and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) among adolescents in Bolingbrook. The Will County Health Department became one of seven Illinois grantees for the program.

Harkins, who teaches the 8th grade program at Humphrey Middle School, says the students seem to open up because “they are pleasantly surprised that an adult can be open and honest with them on these topics.”

The plan is for more students to think about their futures and making the right choices during a special day at Humphrey Middle School on Friday May 19th, and then at Bolingbrook High School on Monday May 22nd. On both days, Will County Health Department Educators will have a table set up with a banner display and will be wearing promotional T-shirts during each lunchroom period. The T-shirts will say #Warriers#Goals#Dreams for the Humphrey students, and #Raiders#Goals#Dreams for the BHS Students.

“For students today and all the social media, everything seems to be ‘hashtag this’ and ‘hashtag that,’” said Health Department Education Shree Woods. “That’s why we decided to put it on both the banners and the shirts, to give this more of a fun, familiar feeling that they could relate to.”

But Kathleen Harkins, who teaches the pregnancy prevention program at Humphrey, says there is certainly a serious approach to this as well. “On the first day of class, we have the students fill out a card about their goals, their dreams, where they would like to be in five or ten years. The idea is to have them really think about getting to those goals, and realizing that an unplanned pregnancy or STD (sexually transmitted disease) could derail those goals. It’s all about making better, more informed choices.”

On the days of the Health Department Educators’ appearance at Humphrey and BHS, students will be invited to fill out a card with their dreams and goals, just like the students who have taken the class. The banners will then be placed in the schools’ hallways, with all the “dreams and goals cards” filled out around the banner. When students fill out their dreams and goals cards, they will be given prizes, including the chance to win gift cards and t-shirts.

The Valley View District will be expanding this program next year to two other middle schools: Brooks and Jane Addams. In addition, the program’s curriculum will be expanded to Romeoville High School, where it will be taught by district teachers.

Woods says that after one year of the program, older students at Bolingbrook High School are hearing about it and taking notice. “Students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades are saying, “wow, why didn’t they talk to us about this?”


Finally, the battle against teen pregnancy is a matter of getting the entire community involved. A teen advisory group known as BASH (Bolingbrook Adolescent Sexual Health) has been established, and consists of teens from Bolingbrook High School. The group meets monthly to advocate for certain issues concerning the culture of their school, and how they respond to teen pregnancy and STD issues.

Harkins also mentioned that adults are able to get involved as well through the Bolingbrook Alliance for Teen Pregnancy Prevention (BATPP). The purpose of the BATPP is to function as a leadership team to assist in raising awareness, educating, and building support in the community around the issue of teen pregnancy prevention. The BATPP is currently making plans to bring the Robert Crown Center for Health Education’s program, “Parenting in a Digital Age: Sex” to Bolingbrook High School and the three Bolingbrook middle schools in the fall of 2017.

And in addition to programs in schools helping with the prevention of teen pregnancy, it cannot be emphasized how important of a role is played by the attitude of parents. As Harkins explained, the kids need to be encouraged, not discouraged, from being able to approach their parents and talk about serious issues such as pregnancy and STDs.

“If parents are calm, open, and honest; kids will be more likely to talk with them. But if there is an edgy, uneasy atmosphere all the time, they will be less likely to come to their parents. And if they don’t, they’ll be getting information from other sources.”


Number of views (1150)/Comments (0)

Tags:
Family Health Services Staff

Family Health Services Staff

Family Health Services
>

Family Health Services

The Family Health Services Team strives to improve the quality of life by promoting health and preventing illness through education and exceptional client-centered services to the diverse community of Will County.
Health Department Divisions

Authors

Family Health Services News
Health Department Employees Have Room to Grow

Health Department Employees Have Room to Grow

New Organic to Grow Vegetables, Promote Wellness

Will County Health Department employees with a green thumb can soon till the soil at work.  At least 35 employees have signed up for an innovative program spearheaded by the agency’s employee wellness committee and the University of Illinois Extension.

Add Vaccines to Your Back-To-School Checklist

August is National Immunizations Awareness Month

The Will County Health Department is reminding parents to include immunizations on their child's back-to-school checklist.  Immunizations are equally important for college students.
Flu Season: No Surprises Thus Far, But be Prepared

Flu Season: No Surprises Thus Far, But be Prepared

This Year's Flu Shot Serum Targets Three Strains

H1N1, eight years after 2009 scare, is now just one of many strains to watch.
Avoiding Lead Poisoning in Children Requires Keen Observance

Avoiding Lead Poisoning in Children Requires Keen Observance

The Problem Often Goes Beyond Old Lead Paint

"They might test high, but they’re in a new house, so it’s obviously not lead paint. That’s when you have to look at other factors, such as food or what it’s being cooked in.”
Health Department Stress-Free Zone Takes Aim at Breast Cancer

Health Department Stress-Free Zone Takes Aim at Breast Cancer

A Chance for Co-Workers to Unite and Build Strength

The event included yoga mats, pillows, relaxing chairs and footstools, special lighting; and also massages, refreshments, and prizes.
For the Rise in STDs;  Sadly, There's an APP for That

For the Rise in STDs; Sadly, There's an APP for That

A Disturbing Example of Social Media's Influence

Yet another parental concern should be the apps their youngsters are using.
WILL COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES FLU SHOT SCHEDULE

WILL COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES FLU SHOT SCHEDULE

Vaccines Available for Both Adults and Children

Persons sick with a cold or fever should delay receiving a flu shot until they feel better.
FREE FLU SHOTS FOR STATE EMPLOYEES AT WILL CO HEALTH DEPARTMENT LOCATIONS

FREE FLU SHOTS FOR STATE EMPLOYEES AT WILL CO HEALTH DEPARTMENT LOCATIONS

Illinois Employees can get their Shots this year at Joliet, Bolingbrook, or Monee Locations

State of Illinois employees and retirees must bring their state ID and state insurance cards. State employees with Medicare are asked to bring their Medicare cards as well.
REQUIRED SCREENINGS FOR NEWBORNS: WHAT IS ALL INVOLVED?

REQUIRED SCREENINGS FOR NEWBORNS: WHAT IS ALL INVOLVED?

Some Screenings Require Follow-up after Baby's Release

All newborn babies are required to have certain screening tests performed, usually within 24 to 48 hours of their births, before they can leave the hospital.
BACK TO SCHOOL: IT'S NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION AWARENESS MONTH

BACK TO SCHOOL: IT'S NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION AWARENESS MONTH

Special Requirements for Certain Grades; Schools Need Your Records

Especially for kids entering kindergarten, 6th, and 9th grades; it is time to make sure their immunization records are up to date.
12345