By Maria-Jose Subiria
The Clayton County Board of Health was recently awarded a grant to support its teenage pregnancy prevention activities, according to the Board of Health's special projects director.
Jennifer Beane said the U.S. Department of Health gave $847,517 to the Clayton agency for this pregnancy-prevention initiative.
"This grant will allow the Clayton County Board of Health the great, invaluable opportunity to empower hundreds of Clayton County youths to make smarter life choices, by giving young people the tools and information to make better decisions about their lives," said Clayton County Health Director Alpha Fowler Bryan.
"Clayton County's teen pregnancy rate has steadily increased over the past few years," Bryan said.. "Teen pregnancy is a national problem and the [Clayton County Board of Health] is committed to doing its part to address the problem."
According to Beane, the proposed teen pregnancy prevention program will target Clayton County youths, ages 12 to 19, including those at risk of academic failure, suspended from school, and involved in the juvenile court system.
The program, she said, will imitate the Wyman's Teen Outreach Program structural model, which uses a multi-organization, multi-system effort to decrease pregnancy among teenagers, and to help grow their ability to excel in education, volunteer in their communities, graduate from high school and develop a sense of purpose.
"The Teen Outreach Program is designed to prevent adolescent problem behaviors by helping adolescents develop effective life-management skills, healthy behaviors, a positive self-image and achievable goals," she said, in a prepared statement.
According to the Teen Outreach Program's web site, -- www.wymantop.org -- the program was created 30 years ago by Wyman, a non-profit organization based in St. Louis, Mo. The program is used in more than 400 organizations and schools in the U.S.