Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
A funded program of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg
The Petersburg Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program began in 2009, when United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg’s Board of Directors offered resources to fund new initiatives in communities across the region. United Way staff and volunteers wanted to use these resources to address one of the most pressing issues facing the city of Petersburg: teen pregnancy.
Together with the Petersburg Health Department, United Way developed a proposal and received $157,000 in funding to begin the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in Petersburg, which had the worst teen pregnancy rate in Virginia.
Built around national best practices, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program started by working directly with teenagers in the Petersburg school system. Since then, the school-based program has expanded to include grade-specific curricula for youth in 5th through 12th grade. Program staff work with both male and female students. The program also connects with parents to provide help in working with their teens at home and talking about the risks associated with sexual activity. Fathers of young boys receive tailored guidance on how to relate to their sons.
During the summer, when school is not in session, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program continues with rallies, contests, concerts and other activities designed to raise awareness of teen pregnancy and provide education around sexual activity.
The results of this program have been tremendous. Since 2009, the teen pregnancy rate in Petersburg has gone down 54%, with the largest reduction coming from teens ages 18-19 (i.e. teens who have participated in the program for multiple years since its inception). In the years ahead, program staff look forward to continued success as more teens spend time in the program.
Tamara Bailey, Nurse Supervisor
Aleisha Manson, Nurse Manager
Petersburg Department of Health