Posted by Ryan Morgan on January 13, 2014 at 1:46 PM
Tell Them‘s January social media campaign asks organizations, programs, and businesses in South Carolina, “What are you doing in 2014 to encourage healthier youth in SC?”
By: Take Control
Just over a year ago, Coastal Carolina OB/GYN
offered its first reproductive health class for teenage girls aged 13-19. Jesse Washington, an advocate for better sex education, and Sonya Harden, Certified Nurse Midwife at the practice, began the program using a curriculum developed for young military women that had been found to be effective. After three successful series, Sonya and Jessie decided to change the curriculum to be more appropriate for younger teens called Be Proud! Be Responsible!
, a program offered by the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
. Jessie has moved to Missouri to continue her education. Sonya has been joined by May Cox, a medical assistant with the practice for eight years with a passion for empowering teens.
We invite 13-18 year old girls to take the free class at our office one day a week for five weeks. We have 5-9 participants on average for each series. Anyone is welcome to attend, but most are either patients of ours already or family members of patients. We still call the program Take Control, as this is the message we want to send. We must take control of our own health and our own future.
The Be Proud! Be Responsible!
program teaches abstinence as the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and STIs, including HIV, but we spend most of our time discussing prevention with condoms and other contraceptive methods. The program does not use slides or shocking pictures of scary STIs. Discussion, videos, and participant brainstorming are the main tools used. We discuss the STIs, including HIV/AIDS, types of sexual activity, contraceptive choices, effectiveness of condoms, the social implications of STIs and teen pregnancy, and we teach the students how to correctly put on a condom.
We have been happy with the response from the girls, who usually are reluctant to stop coming to the weekly meetings. We hope to continue to offer 3-4 series of classes per year, 20-40 teen girls per year. Hopefully more fact-based reproductive health education will be offered to our young girls, and we will continue a decline in teen pregnancies, STIs and sexual violence among our teens.
Learn more about and contact Take Control here
or call 843-349-0100 to sign up for classes.