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The Fertility Awareness Program at Saint Peter’s University Hospital began as an initiative to provide information and support to adolescents experiencing teen pregnancy and as a source of instruction in Natural Family Planning for adults. The need to reach out to pre-teens and teens in the schools in order to provide instruction concerning the physical, emotional and social changes during adolescence and the benefits of choosing abstinence resulted in the development of Project Respect Ed, which is now presented to over 2000 students each year in twelve Central New Jersey public and private schools.
Project Respect Ed is taught by the staff of the Fertility Awareness Program and is available in English and Spanish. The middle and high school curricula are designed to empower students to make decisions that will lead to a healthier future and allow them to reach their full potential. Students complete pre and post surveys to evaluate the impact that these programs have on their knowledge and intended behaviors. Project Respect Ed has consistently demonstrated a statistically significant positive impact in both of these areas.
The middle school curriculum is presented in a series of five classes, one class per week for five consecutive weeks. Sixth grade students learn about physical and emotional changes that take place during puberty and how these changes lead to fertility, the ability to bring about new human life. Seventh grade students discuss the peer, media and cultural pressures that contribute to alcohol and drug use as well as sexual activity. They learn and practice strategies to resist these pressures. Friendship, dating and the consequences of teen sexual activity are the focus of the eight grade classes. Students are encouraged to establish personal goals and boundaries as they prepare to enter high school. Throughout the middle school program the students are encouraged to keep open the lines of communication with their parents.
Project Respect Ed now includes a ninth grade curriculum, Yes You Can Make Smart Choices. Funded by a federal Community Based Abstinence Education grant as part of the statewide project, Winners Wait Across the State, this program challenges students to evaluate the positives and negatives associated with risky behaviors, particularly teen sex. This eight-session curriculum is highly interactive and emphasizes the development of healthy relationships with friends, dating partners and family.
In addition to these school-based programs, Project Respect Ed offers the popular Mother/Daughter and Father/Son programs in area schools as well as at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. Also funded by the Winners Wait Across the State project, these programs give pre-teens and teens and their parents the opportunity to spend an evening or an afternoon together learning and talking about the changes and challenges of adolescence. The parent/child bond is supported and affirmed, and participants find it much easier to communicate with each other once the ice has been broken through these programs.
To obtain further information concerning any of these programs, call the Fertility Awareness Program/ Project Respect Ed at: 800-334-0699 (toll-free in New Jersey) 732-745-8600 ext. 8862 Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saint Peter's University Hospital254 Easton Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901(732) 745-8600
Awareness Program and Project Respect Ed800-334-0699732-745-8600 ext. 8862
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