WSSU Receives $400,000 Grant to Reduce Teen Pregnancy
July 10, 2014Winston-Salem State University has received a $400,000 grant to support an evidence-based program designed to reduce teen pregnancy in Montgomery County, N.C.
The study, a partnership between WSSU and Montgomery County schools, is directed at middle school students and is funded by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. The first cohort will begin in August 2014 and continue over the next four years.
"The after-school program, entitled Draw the Line, Respect the Line, is a three-part health intervention designed for middle school students," said Kineka Hull, director of academic services in the WSSU School of Health Sciences, instructor in the school's healthcare management program and principal investigator for the grant. "The program encourages youth to practice abstinence, delay having sexual relationships, reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and prevent pregnancy. We also will emphasize the development of skills needed to set personal and sexual limits."
While teen pregnancy rates have decreased nationwide and the rates in North Carolina are at a historic low, the teen pregnancy rate in Montgomery County was third overall in the state as of 2012.
"We have seen a decrease in the teen pregnancy rate here, but it has not been as rapid as in other parts of the state," said Dr. Takeda LeGrand, chief accountability and quality officer for the Montgomery County School System. "Any unintended teen pregnancy can lead to adverse health outcomes for the child and decrease the likelihood that the teen parents will graduate from high school or attain a GED. These factors not only impact the parents and child, but can have profound social and economic effects on a community."
The grant will cover lessons that span the middle school years with five to seven annual modules which focus on a variety of topics including how to set limits in sexual and non-sexual situations as well as information on cultural values. Students will receive incentives for participating in the program and a stipend for completing all activities.