The Words of the Smith Family

Money Well Spent - Free Teens

Bruce E. Smith
May 13, 1999

Dear Friends of Free Teens USA:

Since May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, I would like to share a success story with you. Last year money was given to states to promote sexual abstinence as part of the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. The state of Wisconsin was given nearly $800,000. Now in its second year, one of the 13 projects funded in the states is getting national attention for the work they are doing. Here is their story. This is the short history of the work in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by one of the grantees of the $50 million abstinence Funding.

Community Enterprises of Greater Milwaukee is a Non-Profit 501(c) 3 organization in the inner-city of Milwaukee, serving the population with a variety of services ranging from help for the elderly through the Daughters of Luke (DOLL) program to the Young Achievers group that teaches young people 8-18 years of age the world of computers. This hands on group of kids learn to assemble and reassemble computers to learn as skill that can help them in the future. We have a job placement program that is help former welfare recipients find employ. We also have a small factory that produces generators and transformers for light to medium industry.

Free Teens USA - was founded in 1989. It is an intensive HIV/AIDS, STD and pregnancy prevention program used in Middle Schools-7th and 8th grades and High Schools 9th through 12th grade health classes, parenting classes, and schoolwork programs. Free Teens uses effective media techniques including computerized slide presentations along with educational videos. Free Teens encourages and supports development of after school Free Teens Clubs which help reinforce the abstinence message through creative production of billboards, posters, theater groups, and video presentations. Through theses clubs parental and community involvement and is brought together, supporting the youth in the city of Milwaukee.

For the month of May teens at Marshall High School produced a video Public Service Announcement. (This video is available for you to see if you would like to see what Free Teens is doing.)

Also as part of the Wisconsin Abstinence Education Project, our city is hosting a Billboard Scavenger Hunt to promote teen pregnancy prevention.

(See the below web site for Campaign for Our Children. We are featured as the success story of 1999.)

Our Current Success Story

Through a collaborative effort of the Abstinence Education project, the Department of Public Instruction, and Free Teens, USA, the Milwaukee area is in the midst of a Teen Billboard Scavenger Hunt to find the top ten reasons to remain abstinent until marriage. This top ten list is student developed from young people from Milwaukee, Green Bay and Madison. The participants have to find the ten reasons and the street in which they are located. People who send in completed forms will be put in a drawing for $250 privately donated dollars. A large kickoff was held at Marshall high school in Milwaukee to promote the contest, as well as to praise the efforts of Marshall students in developing two abstinence public service announcements. The top ten list are as follows:

10. Your prom date won't be your due date.
9. Sleeping late is still a part of your weekend.
8. A part-time job is still a choice, not a responsibility.
7. Your weekend date doesn't weigh nine pounds or spit up on you.
6. Want the 411? Parenting is 24-7.
5. Minutes of enjoyment can lead to years of hard work.
4. Daddy's mad at you enough for just talking to the boys.
3. If you don't want to kick the bucket, don't knock the boot.
2. You won't become another notch on the bedpost.
1. Two words: Brighter Future.

The model can easily be replicated and engage youth effectively.

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