Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) was founded on the premise that adolescents are able to make healthy decisions regarding their sexuality. TPP emphasizes abstinence as the healthiest and safest choice, and is the only 100% effective method of preventing STD transmission and unwanted pregnancy.
However, we know historically that many youth do not always choose the safest and best rad in various situations. These youth do not deserve a death sentence through HIV infection, a sexually transmitted disease, or the consequences of unwanted pregnancy.
As such, TPP's primary voice is that of promoting abstinence, though contraception is not treated as taboo. Contraceptive units are available to schools or organizations that choose to add them to their program, and STD's are a standard portion of the full TPP program.
School district personnel, classroom teachers, parents, youth and community leaders take a lead role in determining student needs and program content in many areas. Questions from teachers, parents, and students are always answered in an honest and open manner.
Keep an eye out for everything you ever wanted to know about BOB and how 'he' can help your children on a daily basis. BOB (Body on Board) has been a mainstay of TPP Programming at all grade levels, although sometimes he looks a little different depending on grade level. 'He' is our visual of how complex we all really are, and the things we need to develop as we grow into complete, happy and healthy adults. Ask Geauga 8th or 0th grader sometime if they knwo who TPP's BOB is!
TPP Continues to Develop Social Media Initiative:
E Risk-Relationships in A Digital World
Helping children grow to become happy, healthy and successful adults is complicated by the fast paced growth of technology, including the growing use of social media. The ESC of the Western Reserve, with the support of the Geauga Job and Family Services has identified a need to address the developmental, social and emotional impact of the digital work on youth, their relationships, and their future.
ESC offers classroom presentation in grade 6, 7 and 8, parent education and community awareness initiatives, and works with YLP leaders to identify needs and promote the positive use of social media in all grades.
TPP teaches sexuality education using 4 guiding principals:
- Ages and Stages: Youth of all ages benefit from direct and honest information about sexuality. This information should be age appropriate, as well as school and community targeted. TPP feels elementary and middle school age youth do not have the cognitive and emotional maturity to “choose” sexual activity, thus in grades 5-8 only abstinence education is provided.
- Parents are Primary. Parents are the primary educators of youth on the topic of sexuality. All efforts are made to include parents in TPP programming through homework assignments, parent orientation sessions, community presentations and parent newsletter. The concept that parents are the most important source of information is reinforced throughout TPP classroom curriculum.
- Holistic Education: Quality sexuality education should be based on the holistic view of self, specifically, that all humans have emotional, physical, intellectual, social and ethical “components”. Each of these areas can be affected by sexual decisions, and each should be considered in the decision-making process. All youth can benefit from the ability to identify the risks of early sexual involvement as well as the long-term holistic benefits of abstinence and healthy sexual choices.
- Skills for Life: TPP believes that positive social skills are the basis for dealing with a wide range of influences such as negative peer influence, sexual pressures, relationship issues and personal stress. Skills taught and practiced through TPP include assertive communication, decision-making skills, critical-thinking skills and risk assessment. These skills if learned well can be applied to any type of relationship or peer pressure situation. “Just say no” is an ineffective strategy to teach young people how to cope with difficult decisions.
Program Descriptions per Grade Levels:
5th Grade: Changes as We Grow-The Early Years- Holistic approach to state-mandated maturation/reproduction unit. Designed to ease the anxiety that often surrounds this topic, and gives students a framework to look at puberty in an informative, respectful, and non-threatening way.
6th Grade: Changes as We Grow- Social skills based, maturation/reproduction and "introduction to adolescence" program. Activities focus on emotional, social and physical changes to expect, and how to handle them.
7th Grade: The Best is Worth Waiting for- Starts with the best and only 100% safe sexual decision-abstinence. Introduces Holistic Sexuality Education, but focuses primarily on emotional and physical considerations. Topics include media influence, unwanted touch, and sexually transmitted disease.
8th Grade: Ready for the Pressure- Decision making skills program utilizing integrated components from the 7th grade curriculum. Adds ethical and social risks. Topics include setting personal standards, identifying risky situations, and developing an abstinence plan.
9th Grade: Tell it like it is- Assertive communication program with emphasis on sexual decisions. Components include recognizing sexual pressure and influence, analyzing relationships, and assertive communication role plays.
10th Grade: Relationships-Risk and Reward- Relationship education program for teens. Focus is on gender communication differences and analyzing what it takes for healthy male-female relationships now and in the future.
Parenting 101: Parenting awareness program emphasizing the preparation necessary for parenthood. Topics include the challenges of parenthood, child developmental stages, and positive discipline.
Sexually Transmitted Infection Program: Purpose- To provide a holistic approach to sexually transmitted infection education. Over three days, students will learn about STI trends (especially among teens), transmission, symptoms, long-term impact, and three levels of "protection": intellectual, social, and physical.
Parent-Child Homework assignments: TPP professes the idea tat parents are the primary educatior of children when it comes to sexuality education. With that, all TPP programs contain age appropriate parent-child homework assignments with the goal of increasing communication on a range of topics. Examples can be found in any of the workbooks.
"Dear Mom and Dad": TPP offers the presentation "Dear Mom and Dad"-Teen Parents Talk to Parents of Young Teens". The program is for parents and middle school age students to attend together, is presented by local teen parents. The focus of this facilitated panel is "how I got here", giving parents perspectives that will motivate them to talk more often and more meaningfully to their children about relationships and sexual decisions.
"It's Just Sex, Right?" This book designed for parents of middle schoolers is an anthology of short stories form over 30 local teen parents and abstinent high school students that have spoken as panel members for TPP over the years. Teens tell stories of peer pressure, dating viloence, benefits of abstinence and consequesces of early sexual decisions. It is a great way to open coversations with young teens. For ordering information contact the TPP director; Karen Lackey.