Teen Pregnancy Prevention Fund
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Fund provides financial support for current initiatives that address teen pregnancy prevention and unsafe sexual practices of teens in Washington County, MD.
Grants will be directed to programs and education addressing Strategic Community Impact Plan Goal 22, specifically targeting a decrease in teen pregnancy and unsafe sexual practices in teens. Preference may be given to organizations or programs that offer education and programming to parents of pre-teens and teens.
Suggested amount for grant application is $600. However, requests for other amounts will not be disqualified. Applicant organizations must be based in and primarily serving Washington County, Maryland, and have a current 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS. Organizations may apply for funding for more than one program; however, each program requires a separate grant application. Grants are open now through August 1st.
Why care about teen pregnancy?
Washington County’s vital statistics demonstrate that our county has consistently ranked as having the 3rd or 4th highest teen birth rate in Maryland for many years. While the National and State and Washington County teen birth rates have shown dramatic improvement there is still much to be done to impact this issue.
“Compared to women who delay childbearing, teen mothers are less likely to complete high school and more likely to end up on welfare. The children of teen mothers are at significantly increased risk of low birth weight and pre-maturity, mental retardation, poverty, growing up without a father, welfare dependency, poor school performance, insufficient health care, inadequate parenting, and abuse and neglect.”
“Parents have a very important influence on whether their teenagers become pregnant or cause a pregnancy. Parents need to know that when it comes to young people’s decisions about sex, their influence has not been lost to peers and popular culture. They are powerful and they can use this power in sound, helpful ways.” Organizations or programs that offer educational seminars, workshops and printed materials that provide parents practical information about what they can do to help their children delay sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy are needed in Washington County.
Grants for 2016 were presented to the following nonprofit organizations to support programs and education addressing teen pregnancy and unsafe sexual practices in teens: Together with Families/Washington County Family Center, Community Free Clinic and Boys and Girls Club of Washington County. Each organization received $500.
Together with Families/Washington County Family Center’s Teen Parent Panel educates teens and adolescents about the rights, responsibilities and realities of teen parenting, as well as delaying or reducing sexual activity. The Teen Parent Panel consists of young parents who have volunteered to share their message of the difficulties and challenges they face as a teen parent. They also discuss the importance of making smart decisions regarding contraception.
The Community Free Clinic will use their grant for SWAG -Services We All Get, a pregnancy prevention program addressing the high risk behaviors of Washington County teens ages 13-19. This free program includes education and outreach, birth control, pregnancy testing, STD (STI) testing and treatment, emergency contraception and LGBT safe space in a strictly confidential, non-judgmental atmosphere.
Boys and Girls Club of Washington County’s grant for SMART Girls offers girls’ ages 8-17 guidance on healthy attitudes and lifestyles through group activities, field trips, mentoring and college visits. Specific topics discussed include how the media influences attitudes about females, sexual harassment, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual myths and truths and the physical and emotional changes experienced in girls at this age.