04/15/04 — Health Department holds abstinence essay contest

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Health Department holds abstinence essay contest

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 15, 2004 1:59 PM

Wayne County high school students are being asked to explain why abstinence is the best choice for teens to prevent pregnancy.

The Health Department is sponsored its first essay contest on the subject last year and received over 60 entries. Responses ranged from those already practicing abstinence to teen mothers talking about the consequences.

The Wayne County Council on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention is co-sponsoring the contest this year, which is open to any students in grades nine through 12. Information was distributed in the public schools at the end of March, but the contest is also open to students in private and home schools.

Carolyn King, county health education supervisor, said abstinence has been taught in the public schools for a long time. She said she was encouraged by last year's contest.

"It gives kids who are abstinent some support for that choice," she said, "that not everybody is having sex and lets them know, 'I'm OK because I have been abstinent.'

"It was obvious that they have heard that message and they're listening.

"The Health Department is trying to help young people make good choices, choices that are going to impact their lives."

There is a 1,500-word limit, and an entry form must accompany submissions, which are due by April 23. First, second, and third place prizes, gift certificates to Berkeley Mall, will be presented May 19 by the Board of Health.

Entry forms are available through county high schools, at the Health Department, or on line at www.wchd.net. For more information, call 731-1236.