Teen Pregnancy & STI Prevention
The goal of the project is to decrease the rates of teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS; and to increase positive youth development activities and services for African-American and Hispanic youth, ages eleven to eighteen.
The project currently targets 350 to 400 sophomore students each year including delivery of the eight-session Be Proud! Be Responsible! curriculum and positive youth development workshops Healthy Relationships and Career Development.
Read the full program description here.
In the fall of 2012, the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services invited the Prevention Partnership to submit a Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) application to provide sex education in Chicago’s south suburbs. While teen pregnancy rates had been decreasing in these communities, sexually transmitted infections were increasing indicating that young people were engaging in unsafe practices which put their sexual health at risk. Our application was successful, and implementation began the same year the Illinois Comprehensive Sex Education Law was signed banning abstinence-only sex education in Illinois public schools.
History on Prevention Partnership's PREP
The evidence-based curriculum selected for this effort is Be Proud! Be Responsible! a six-module curriculum designed to help young people change behaviors that place them at risk of HIV, STIs and pregnancy. Curriculum and adult preparation sessions (Healthy Relationships, Career Success, and Financial Literacy) are intended to delay initiation of sex among sexually inexperienced youth, to reduce unprotected sex among sexually active youth, and to help young people make proud and responsible decisions about their sexual behaviors. A Teen Pregnancy and STI Resource Guide is updated annually and distributed to over 3,000 students and the community at large.
Service delivery began in March 2013 with an all-day retreat for over 211 freshmen and sophomore girls at Rich South High School in Richton Park. Since then, the project has provided comprehensive sex education programming for some 3,000 Rich Township High School District 227 students in the District’s three high schools: Fine Arts and Communications Campus (formerly Rich South), STEM Campus, Olympia Fields (formerly Rich Central), and Rich East, Park Forest (closed in 2019). Student evaluation summaries indicate that the overwhelming majority learned new information and intend to utilize this information when making decisions about their sexual behavior. We were always pleased about the high numbers of students giving positive responses regarding abstinence.