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After school program offers abstinence lessons

After school program offers abstinence lessons
December 01
00:00 2012

The Goler Institute for Development & Education (GIDE) Youth Education Academy (YEA) is facilitating a series of classes about adolescent sexuality designed to encourage young people to delay sexual activity and reduce risky behavior.

The program also enlists the help of parents, who are instructed to utilize better methods when interacting with their teenagers. While the program encourages abstinence, it also makes both parents and teens aware of places where they can access health information and contraceptives. The classes are integrated into the Youth Education Academy, an after school program that meets from 4–7 p.m. Teen pregnancy prevention classes for girls are held every Tuesday at 7 p.m. and for parents and every Thursday at 7 p.m. Beginning in December, the Academy will offer Wise Guys, a male-oriented teen pregnancy prevention program.

The teen pregnancy prevention classes are made possible by a mini-grant from The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem. The GIDE/YEA/21st Century Learning Center is headquartered at West Salem Square, 1001 S. Marshall St. The GIDE/YEA facilitators include Family Involvement Coordinator Tamara Patterson, Velma Terry, Site Coordinator Hazel Neely and Operations Manager Paula McCoy.

Helping students graduate and become successful, contributing members of society is one of the main goals of GIDE/YEA. The pregnancy prevention component is an essential piece of the puzzle, say program officials.

In 2010, 367,752 infants were born in this country to women between the ages of 15-19. The Forsyth County teen pregnancy rate remains high. The county is 25th in the state, with a rate of 68.5 pregnancies for every 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19. “Through these sessions, our YEA after school program hopes to impact our youth in such a way that they will make good choices and delay sexual activity; their futures (and) their lives are absolutely at stake,” said McCoy.

For more information about GIDE or YEA, call 336-655-5411.

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