P4T Leaders: Dynamic and positive role models
Once trained, peer leaders share messages that promote healthy decision making with sixth–eighth grade students (over 2,344 projected for 2015–16 school year) across the Mankato and St. Peter school districts (Dakota Meadows, Franklin, Garfield, Fitzgerald, East Jr. High, North Intermediate, St. Peter High School and Lake Crystal Secondary) through various methods including panel discussions, skits, and role-playing.
|P4T Peer Leader Training (1 School Day)||November|
|P4T meetings with P4T School Advisors (Bi-weekly)||November – May|
|Presentation Preparation (10 hours/group)||November & December|
|6th & 8th Grade Classroom Presentations (32)||December – May|
The 2013 Minnesota Student Survey, which was completed by public school students in grades 5, 8, 9, and 11 from across the state, provides some important state-wide, regional, and local data:
Research cited in A Work In Progress v.2: Building a Minnesota State Plan for Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Parenting (Center for Adolescent Health and Development, University of MN; 2003) notes that “peer relationships create both protective and risk factors. Teens continually and mutually influence each other, in both positive and negative ways. Youth who think their peers are sexually active have a greater risk of teen pregnancy then their counterparts.”
P4T Peer Leaders seek to foster a climate of respect and sense of connection among younger-age peers, to reinforce the notion that it is OK to say “no” to sexual activity, and to provide information/tools to prepare youth for situations that may put them “at risk”.
Project for Teen’s focus on teen pregnancy prevention has its roots in the early years of our organization when community members took action to address a significantly high rate of teen pregnancy, with particular concern about pregnancy involving younger-age teens. Ongoing evaluation and reflection efforts by Project for Teens’ Board of Directors (whose members represent a diverse range of community organizations/interests) have served to solidify its commitment to this focus area.