More teens in Alexandria will be learning about how to prevent pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections through a new federal grant to the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP).
ACAP was awarded a three-year Personal Responsibility Education Program federal grant to provide prevention programs that address teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. The grant totals $290,494 per year and was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.
The grant will allow the Alexandria campaign to work with approximately 800 at-risk youths. Partners in the project include Capital Youth Empowerment, the Northern Virginia Aids Ministry, Community Lodgings and T.C. Williams High School’s Graduation, Reality, and Dual-Role Skills (GRADS) class.
ACAP Coordinator Lisette Torres said the grant will fund three separate programs. The first is called Being a Responsible Teen, which will be conducted by Capital Youth Empowerment and target black male athletes from T.C. Williams High School.
The second, called Be Proud, Be Responsible, will be implemented by Community Lodgings, which will work with Hispanic youths, and the Northern Virginia Aids Ministry, which will work with teens in juvenile detention facilities and shelters. A third program — Be Proud, Be Responsible, Be Protective — will work with pregnant or parenting teens at T.C. Williams.
The programs vary in focus but generally involve increasing condom use, decreasing the frequency of sexual intercourse, sharing knowledge about HIV and STIs and learning communication skills.
“The ultimate focus of all of them is teen pregnancy prevention and (sexually transmitted infection) prevention,” Torres said. All three programs include adulthood preparation topics, such as health and nutrition education.
Community Lodgings, which works with the homeless in the Arlandria area, will take 48 teens on overnight educational camping trips, said Executive Director Bonnie Baxley.
“Our program component, which is very exciting, is we’re going to take six groups of Latino youth between 14 and 18, divided up by ages, and take them on an overnight camping trip,” he said. “Many have never been camping, and we’ll take them on an overnight camping trip and we’ll go over with them what is in the curriculum.”
For more information about the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy, visit www.KeepIt360.org.