El Paso Health Education Program Considered for Expansion
Decline in local teen pregnancy rates draws attention
El Paso, Texas—August 2, 2010— Recognizing the effects of teen pregnancy and single parenthood, the Obama administration is boosting teen pregnancy prevention efforts in the country. This year, the administration is taking an “evidence-based approach” to determining which sexual health education programs will receive funding under the teen pregnancy prevention initiative.
Under this administration, more than $114 million of this year’s budget will be allocated to programs with proven results in reducing teen pregnancy rates. Among those under consideration is the Paso a Paso: Building Healthy Families program known to many El Paso students and parents.
Since 2006, schools report that the number of pregnancies have dropped by between 15 and 20 percent in the El Paso areas where Paso a Paso operates. The key to their success is enhanced by the parental involvement in sexual health education of their youth.
Since sex education is more than just giving information to adolescents, Paso a Paso focuses on the motivations and peer pressures that sometimes lead to bad decision making. By attending the parent classes, the program allows parents to feel more confident about discussing sex with their kids. Parents also learn more about today’s adolescent culture through evidence based programming like Paso a Paso.
If granted funding, the Medical Institute of Sexual Health, creators of the program, will expand Paso a Paso to more communities as well as track the perception and behavior change among students and parents in the area. In September of this year, officials will learn if the funding has been granted.
The Medical Institute is a nonprofit (501c3) that empowers safe, healthy living by communicating objective and scientific sexual health information. Through resources like the STD Wizard (www.STDWizard.org) — an online sexually transmitted disease self-assessment tool — the Medical Institute is helping people live safer, happier, healthy lives. For more information visitwww.medinstitute.org.