Combating teen pregnancy with real life examples

Apr 11, 2011  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

Move aside, fake pregnancy bellies and life-like take-home babies. The latest classroom tool used around the county to deter teen pregnancy is a line-up of hit MTV shows.

The New York Times featured an article in the April 10 edition with a slew of examples of how the shows “16 & Pregnant,” “Teen Mom” and “Teen Mom 2” are used to prompt discussions and lessons about the negative effects of teenage parenthood. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy even distributes DVDs and discussion guides for that purpose.

The shows aren’t just discussion prompters in the classroom — they’re also a means for parents to start conversations about sex, contraception and pregnancy with their children. And although it’s often an awkward conversation, teens in Northeast Florida and throughout the country want to be able to have those talks with their parents.

The latest CDC report shows a decline in teen birth rates, but it is still a significant issue that has a negative effect on society and birth outcomes. Teen birth rates in the United States are higher than other industrialized countries — and locally and statewide, rates are even higher than the nation. The NEFL Teen Pregnancy Task Force meets the second Wednesday of the month at Shands and will develop strategies and iniatives — like educating parents about how to talk to their kids about sex — to combat the issue in the region.

New Town Success Zone’s PhotoVoice Exhibit Unveiled at Art Walk

Apr 7, 2011  •   Written by admin   •  no comments


Community photographers from the New Town Success Zone debuted their work at the April Jacksonville Art Walk last night.

The PhotoVoice Project, Strengthening the Voices of Women in New Town: Making Our Neighborhood Better for Children, allowed women from the New Town community of North Jacksonville to act as recorders and potential catalysts for social action in their neighborhood through photography. Their pictures reflect the strengths and concerns they see in New Town.

Participants stood proudly by their photos, which were accompanied by personal narratives, and talked with visitors about their experiences throughout the process. The next phase of the project will including advocacy training, empowering the women to address their concerns and enabling them to bring positive changes in their community.

The project is a collaboration between the Early Childhood Committee of the New Town Success Zone and the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women and is funded by the Women’s Giving Alliance, the Chartrand Foundation, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers and individual donors.

The exhibit will remain on display throughout April at the main library, at 303 N. Laura St., Jacksonville, FL 32202.

BB&T hosts “Financial Education Day” at Magnolia Project

Apr 6, 2011  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

The BB&T Bank Bus made a stop at the Magnolia Project yesterday to provide financial resources for Project participants and other interested persons in Pearl Plaza.

The bank pulled over 35 credit reports and talked with more than 50 prospective clients. The bus was there from 10am-2pm.

The big, brightly painted vehicle is a mobile community financial education tool that is equipped to provide the following to community members and area residents wherever it travels:

  • Free Annual Credit Reports
  • BB&T Products & Services: Checking and Savings Accounts
  • BB&T Careers:
  • Web-based Financial Education Resources

Photo Courtesy of BB&T

New Town Success Zone Photographers Debut at ArtWalk

Mar 23, 2011  •   Written by admin   •  no comments

Community photographers from the New Town Success Zone are making their debut at the April Jacksonville Art Walk.

Approximately 10 women participated in a PhotoVoice Project, entitled “Strengthening the Voices of Women in New Town: Making our Neighborhood Better for Children.” The NTSZ Early Childhood Committee and Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women organized the project, which is funded by the Women’s Giving Alliance, the Chartrand Foundation and individual donors.

The PhotoVoice concept is a means to build communities and inspire grassroots community action through participatory storytelling. The New Town project allows women from the North Jacksonville community to depict the concerns and strengths of the area and their hopes for a safe and appealing place to live and raise their young children through pictures.

ArtWalk is April 6, 2011 from 5 to 8 pm. The exhibit will be located on the 3rd floor of the main library, at 303 N. Laura St., Jacksonville, FL 32202.

Make a Noise! Make a Difference! Intervention Available to Jacksonville Women

Mar 8, 2011  •   Written by admin   •  no comments

Our babies are dying. Too few of us know. Our babies are dying. Why? Our babies are dying. What can we do?

We can “Make a NOISE. Make a difference.”

The “Make a Noise! Make a Difference!” community awareness and education campaign developed in response to Jacksonville’s high infant mortality rates, especially among African American babies. Town hall meetings in 2008 found that community members thought knowledge was the first step to solving the problem. Once equipped with information, they agreed people must stand up and spread the word about infant mortality.

Currently, the “Make a Noise! Make a Difference!” intervention is targeting residents, students, and leaders in predominantly black communities to become health advocates for their families and neighborhoods. The health advocate curriculum guide, developed by the Magnolia Project, is divided into four sessions: health before pregnancy, health during pregnancy, healthy two and healthy baby. In addition to topics concerning healthy and unhealthy behaviors before and during pregnancy, sessions cover the effect of stress, the role of fathers, the importance of vaccines and the threat of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The goal of the sessions is to empower women to share what they learn with others and refer them to the program.

Most recently, Arlington’s Woodland Acres Elementary School and UNF’s Florida Institute of Education partnered with the campaign to spread the message to children’s parents at their schools, allowing for expanded reach of the Make a NOISE. Make a Difference. campaign in Jacksonville. The initiative will also touch the lives of staff and clients of the Women’s Center of Jacksonville, as well as mentors and Little Sisters of the Jacksonville Birthing Project in the coming months. In the future, the campaign looks to partner with local African-American churches in an effort to involve and engage the faith-based sector.

To get involved with the Make a Noise! Make a Difference! intervention, contact Olivia Gibson at 904.723.5422 ext. 114. With knowledge, empowerment, and resources, we can begin to Make a NOISE. Make a Difference.