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The Brunswick beacon. (Shallotte, N.C.) 19??-current, March 14, 1985, Page Page 8-A, Image 8

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I'age 8-A?THE BRUNSWICK BEACC Fewer BY SUSAN USHER No hurt feelings, no mornings after and no unwanted pregnancies. That's the goal of an Atlanta, Ga., program designed to teach young peuplc IwW to say "no" when under peer pressure to become involved sexually at an early age. The teenage pregnancy prevention program will soon be implemented within the Brunswick County Health I Apartment on a trial basis following action Monday by the Brunswick County Board of Health. Board members present unanimously approved a motion by Bill Rabon to establish the pilot program. Health Director Thomas Blum said the program will be used by staff members within the department's family planning clinic. Member Thomas Dixie of Iceland voiced initial hesitancy in regard to Prograi nv CITUAN IICUL'D "There's no way they can classify it as sex education," Marie Brown, a school nurse recently nppolntcd to the Bruaswick County Board of Health, told fellow health board IIICIIII/CI n muiiua; Migiit. She was talking about a teenage pregnancy prevention program the health department will soon launch on a pilot basis. It's called the "no" program and it hus been successfully implemented in the Atlanta public schools and has also been wellaccepted by church groups und other community organizations. It tenches young people how to sayno under difficult social clr ' >? pressure to become sexually Involved, but the skills can also be applied when youngsters are pressured to use drugs or alcohol. Ms. Brown was among a group of iocai public and scnooi nurses to participate recently In a workshop presentation on the program. I thought it was an excellent ptogram," she said. Health board mcmliers view see the pilot program as a find step. a i r J /^.ttlcik Circ : & so yMODIl $ 4 50A7UR ^ I Medicine G m* j jy^_ | < Close-Out |pL itt>a Act SJ.M. Hwy. 17 4 211 >N, Thursday, March 14, 1985 Teen Pre the pilot program, but ultimately supported the move. He first suggested waiting until the full board was present since the program appeared "controversial." That concern was quickly countered by other board members who said they thought the board should not only implement the program, but promote it to the public?and to the board of education for use in tne middle schools. "It seems to me the board of health has a responsibility to promote this program just as it would any program we feel strongly about or see a need for," suggested I^ee Aldridge. Aldridge said that a child would probably not even know of the program's availability at the health department and that if youngsters were reluctant to participate in a joint program with parents (the m Teaches < They and health department staff members say they think the program should be included in the middle school curriculum of the county school system. They're hoping the pilot program <l?no-ote, tho rnmmun'tv interest needed to get it into the schools. The nroernm was devrloned hv Marion Howard, director of Teen Services Program at Grady Memorial Hospital and an associate professor at Emory University. Variations of the program arc being field-tested in Atlanta and in Cleveland, Ohio. At least 100 persons have been readied as "trainers" in North Carolina. The "no" program came about after health educators realized that with sex education and birth control programs available in Atlanta the teenage pregnancy rate had been reduced significantly (from one of the higltcst in the state to one of the lowest), but that it was still unacceptable high. E a Luting programs focused on giving students the factual information they needed to make their own choices about sexual activity. r 4' f :ki:I D ?to Fortre wsr 25% SJ.00 OFF ibinets QC !5% Lon! OFF iTroniau . . , Cedor .... Prices On Cabot wm* | I Fireplace cessoriesj VRKER & SOI B MHMVt > >gnancie: Atlanta model runs a separate course for parents), they would be even mure reluctant to ask a parent to take them to the department to participate. "I think we have an obligation to take it to the school board, to iry 10 sell it to the school board," he continued. His feelings were echoed by other board members who also thought the program worthy of the department's attention. Chairman John Madison said a program on abortion would be con- ' troversial, but not one that teaches i vouncsters to sav no. This "no" program would be wor- i thwhile, he added, if just one child i were helped "It's a step in the right direction." I I Idea Will Sell Joe Stevenson agreed, "I think the | foung Peop "The beauty to me of the pro teaching fifth and sixth grade sexual encounters, but how t alcohol?how to say no unde these things." Something else was obviously need- f ?d. f The Atlanta program developed by Howard offers what students told t leaiui euucators iney warned ana i leeded: training in how to say no without hurting the other person's eelings. The program is based on at least two premises: 1) It assumes that not ill youngsters have the reasoning skills end maturity they need to nake on appropriate decision about texual Involvement even when armrd with facts: and 2) it starts with the tiven value 'You ought not to be havng sex at a young age'. From that value base it gives students in fifth and sixth grades the tools they need to say no under peer ON | DO-tT YOURSELF ITEMS! ss Locksets X23C ce Panels 1 1X8 M680 \ *18" I limited Selection . II -H* Cabot |l Stain | ^ $13?V ?, INC. I Pfcoiw 7S4-4331 fl. s Goal C department should make an effort to sell this program to the school system and to the public to the extent it doesn't create an excessive workload." Later, he added, "I believe if the tiepai uncut implements this prrvgram the public- will sell it to the school system." The school system has been approached, but so far has not agreed to launch the program, though health board members and health department staff members indicated they thought the middle schools the most appropriate setting. Blum said he didn't want the department taking the role of "lead agency" in promoting the program. "Our only right is to act as the board of health," acknowledged "hairman Madison, noting that the schools are under the leadershiD of a relatively new board. "We don't want i/e To Soy 7s gram is we're not just trs how to say no to o say no to drugs, r peer pressure to oil Di?fK Wnrrinntnn Nursing Supervisor >ressure, yet maintain their selfrsteem. It does not offer factual informaion about reproduction, nor does it liscuss family planning. It concenrates on building skills which help oung people deal with social and rcei pleasures, me program is argeted to youths age 15 and 'ounger. "By seventh and eighth grades it's oo late. They're already sexually acive." said one health professional in he audience at the health board neeting. The average age of fertility among /oung women as of 1983 had dropped o age 12Vi. according to a report by loward. He said that according to a 979 study the age of first intercourse las also dropped. The study inlicated that 22.5 percent of the l&-ycar-olds studied hud already had fl2 >f Pilot Pr to generate a major problem for another institution." As an alternative to the schools, Blum said staff members had been discussing ways of incorporating the program williin the health departmpnt's family planning clinic, hut had not planned ti> gn public with it quite yet. Two incidents prompted the early unveiling: questions by a county commissioner during a recent program review and a letter to the editor published in the March 6 edition of tne aiaie ron rnoi. ine letter trom Mrs. Gene A. Wallin of the Brunswick County Right To Life group contained several major misstatements of fact regarding the school system and health department and their approach to teenage pregnancies, Blum said, including allegations that the health departJo' Under P intercourse, up from 14.7 percent in 1970. Blum said the local health department has on occasion seen clients as young as fifth or sixth grade: most are teenagers. In 1983-84 639 clients of childbearing age received family olanning services through the department. Nursing Supervisor Ruth Harrington told the board, "The beauty to me of the program is we're not just toonkinn fifth nnr1 -i-th h?... to say no to sexual encounters, but how to say no to drugs, alcohol?how to say no under peer pressure to all these things." Part Of Clinic Health Director Thomas Blum said the department plans to offer the pilot program through its familyplanning clinic. By federal law the department must provide young people family planning services on request, without their parents' knowledge or consent. "School nurses encourage parental contact iirst," he said. ::Bui in most cases the teenagers coming to the clinic are beyond that point. They already have made the decision they are going to participate." Family planning methods don't include abortion aid or abortion igbtkouse ^ \J~ T-i-S *-> r uur c uiai rtoor WJVfl DIANCE oils of FHA Saxony in stocl )NE COUNTY LOOP COMMERCIAL HER BACK ROLLS IN STOCK MARCH SPEi .OR FLAVORS ipm. sa?< .OR SYMPHONY (t?tr, w?n We have a complete li ARMSTRONG. CONGOLEUM. M A TOWN GATE SHOi 713 N. How. SOUTHS ) ogram mcnt offers students aid in obtaining abortions and abortion counseling, which it does not do. That misinformation, he said, hurts not only those who visit the family planning clinic, but the health professionals who serve them. The department does not pay for abortions and does not consider abortion as a family planning method, he said. Clinic participants are made aware of alternative for preventing pregnancy, including abstinence. Girls coming to the department who have decided to have an abortion are referred elsewhere. A response to the letter approved hfc tho Imn.J ? - *1 misstatements and offers to discuss the 'no' program with the school board or other interested parties. "I would hope 'no' would be common ground for all parents," said Blum. ressure counseling, he said. Girls who seek abortions are referred elsewhere. The department does offer clients information on alternatives to pregnancy, including abstinence. The "no" program will help get the message across that not choosing sexual activity is okay. Blum said the program will target two groups: 1) those who have had sexual encounters, with the message "You don't have to have any more," and 21 those with no previous sexual encounter, with the message, "You don't have to have the first one." Training in the "no" program, he said, will give the public health staff a more "behavioral" approach in working with their young clients, to "convince kids they can say no and that it works." Staff members would also be available to discuss the program with community groups on request, he said. The "no" program approach to postponing sexual involvement includes four lMt-hour sessions. Threeart; given close together and explore peer and social pressures and ways of responding to them aggressively. The fourth is offered several months later and reinforces the skills taught earlier. I ^arpets j r t enter $Q99 AILED a to choose from I $y|99 Per Sq. Yd. CIALS mil ?17 Q5 IMSTftl ICft IB Saionj) $21.95 i?ST?mo ne of vinyls by ANNINCTON. TACKETT R )C\ 'PING CENTER t Street ^_45^743 h

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