Reality Check for Teens Young Mothers Tell Students about Risks of Early Sexual Activity in Program Facing Budget Cuts
Wallace, Diana, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Diana Wallace Daily Herald Staff Writer
One eighth-grader thought drinking lots of Mountain Dew could prevent pregnancy.
Another extolled the supposed contraceptive properties of standing in front of a microwave oven before sex.
Katharine Gilmore wasn't surprised by the myths that abounded when she spoke at junior high schools. She'd certainly harbored her own.
That is, until she got pregnant at 13 by her 21-year-old boyfriend.
"I know it's kind of silly, but I was always a very intelligent kid, very precocious," Gilmore said, "and somehow in my brain, I thought you only got pregnant if you were stupid."
Gilmore is now 20, divorced and raising two daughters in Bolingbrook with a new boyfriend.
She's also one of a group of young moms who, during the past several years, have worked as "peer prevention educators" in an innovative, in-school sex-education program - a program whose long- term survival has now been called into question by budget cuts.
The program, called Adolescents with Awareness, Resources and Education, known as AWARE, is both lauded and criticized for its frank, fact-based, nonjudgmental approach to some of the topics parents and even middle school health teachers can be squeamish about …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Reality Check for Teens Young Mothers Tell Students about Risks of Early Sexual Activity in Program Facing Budget Cuts. Contributors: Wallace, Diana - Author. Newspaper title: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL). Publication date: August 11, 2002. Page number: 1. © 2009 Paddock Publications. COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group.
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