New Morning Foundation-Communities In Schools Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative
Nearly one-third of all females who drop out of school do so because they are pregnant or parenting. For this reason, a natural partnership between Communities In Schools (CIS) and New Morning Foundation (NMF) began in 2004. At that time, CIS partnered with the New Morning Foundation to implement a teen pregnancy prevention program with students from Johns and Wadmalaw Islands. This project was originally known as the SAFE (Sea Island Advocates for Education) Initiative. It began as one of five projects in Columbia, SC and Charleston with a very broad focus, involving all of the area schools and also members of the business and faith communities. Over the ten years of this project, teen pregnancies were reduced from an average of 16 - 18 per year to an average of 0 - 2 per year at St. Johns High School.
Because of the success of this program, in 2012 the New Morning Foundation decided to expand the grant from St. Johns High School and Clark Academy to include North Charleston schools: North Charleston High and Stall High. As a result, teen pregnancies at North Charleston High were reduced from an average of 40 per year to only six during the 2014-2015 school year. Additionally, teen pregnancies at Stall High were reduced from an average of 30-35 per year to only 10 during the 2014-2015 school year.
Program components include the provision of the evidence-based reproductive health curriculum Reducing the Risk with first time 9th grade students, referrals for services at area teen-friendly clinics, and special events, such as our annual (Grand)Mother-Daughter Dinner, which are geared toward promoting awareness of teen pregnancy prevention and increasing the family lines of communication in regards to reproductive health. The goal is to reduce teen pregnancies at the new sites by 50% over the next three years.
If you have any questions or would like to assist with this initiative, contact Communities In Schools at 843.740.6793.