Start early. Talk often. You’re more powerful than you think.
Did you know that May is #TalkingIsPower month? The staff in THD’s Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) literally talk about adolescent sexual health with young people all day, every day. But this month we get to talk to you!
The PREP grant began in 2011 and our Teen Pregnancy Prevention Specialists (TPPS) have provided education to nearly 17,000 youth in Tulsa County since 2012, exceeding grant goals each year. PREP offers five programs to youth in Tulsa County typically to students during their 7th and 9th grade years. They include Making A Difference!, Making Proud Choices!, Positive Prevention PLUS and Love Notes.
PREP staff use an evidence-based, safer-sex approach to teen pregnancy, STD and HIV prevention. This means that the programs we teach have been proven to delay sexual activity, increase condom or contraceptive use for sexually active youth, or reduce pregnancy among youth. All programs are multi-session and most are taught in school settings. Programs begin and end with a survey to collect demographic data on students as well as any changes to their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.
The birth rate for Oklahoma teens has decreased by 56% in the past decade, dropping from 61.6 in 2008 to 27.2 in 2018 for ages 15-19. We’re proud to be part of a strong community effort that is positively impacting Tulsa County’s teen birth rate.
Although we talk mainly to teens, we also have the opportunity to talk to parents, guardians and trusted adults when we host parent meetings at each school before we begin teaching. Some of the most common questions we get are about how adults can start the conversation with their young people.
Download the PREP Parent toolkit in English or Spanish for helpful tips for parents to guide their teen through sexual health.
The best advice we have is to be authentic (if you’re nervous, just admit it. So is your child!), be honest (if you don’t know the answer), and be prepared (by reviewing the awesome resources we have listed here):
Power to Decide
Resources for Parents
Amaze: Parent Resources