Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

National Day Uses Education to Reduce Teen Pregnancy

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

National Day Uses Education to Reduce Teen Pregnancy

Article excerpt

Despite the national decline in teen pregnancy over the past 10 years, four in 10 girls still get pregnant before age 20.

The consequences include low completion rates for high school, high rates of child poverty and poor early childhood development experienced by the children of teen parents.

In order to provide more information to youth on the consequences of teenage sex, May 8, 2002 was designated as the first ever, "National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy." On this day, more than 18,000 teenagers participated in activities emphasizing the message "Sex has consequences."

The National Day was sponsored by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and its two founding partners Teen People magazine and Teen People Online. NLC is one of 80 other prominent public, private and nonprofit organizations that partnered with the campaign to make the day a success.

Online Quiz

True to the preferences of this generation, the World Wide Web has been the main forum for the National Day's activities.

An interactive, online quiz places the teens in sexually risky situations and asks them to make decisions about what actions they would take. Sponsors hope that the quiz will encourage teenagers to think about their own future responses in situations of sexual pressure.

During May, more than 40,000 teenagers logged on to participate in this online quiz.

Teens have taken the quiz in schools, afterschool programs and in their homes.

Many youth groups have chosen to use the quiz as a tool to foster in-depth discussion about abstinence and "safer-sex" with the young people in their programs.

City Responses to Teen Pregnancy

NLC's support of the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has been a natural expression of its commitment to reducing teenage pregnancy. NLC's 2002 National Municipal Policy states, "A concerted effort ... is needed to combat the epidemic of teenage pregnancy and child-bearing in the United States. …

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