04/12/06 — WATCH pregnancy prevention program gets $10,000 grant

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WATCH pregnancy prevention program gets $10,000 grant

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 12, 2006 1:49 PM

A recently-received grant for $10,000 will ensure teens in Wayne County will have a second youth summit this fall.

The teen pregnancy branch of Wayne Action Teams for Community Health, or WATCH, was awarded the grant from Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Coalition of North Carolina. Health officials had applied for the funds last year, but did not receive the grant.

Wayne County Communities in Schools stepped in and donated $5,000, which was used toward a Youth Empowerment Summit. In October, 75 high school students attended the one-day session that featured discussions on a variety of teen topics.

Nakisha Floyd, health educator with WATCH, said the grant money will allow them to plan an even bigger and better event this year.

"Last year we had a youth planning committee. This year, because the turnout and response was so great, we're going to have an application and interview process for the planning committee," she said.

Between 10 and 12 high school students from grades 9-11 in the six public high schools are being sought to serve on the planning committee, she said. Once chosen, the group will be responsible for organizing and coordinating the event, scheduled to take place on Saturday, Oct. 7.

Applications, available through school counselors, must be turned in by April 28.

Once the planning committee gets established, applications will be taken for students interested in attending the youth summit. There will be spaces for about 130 participants.

Last year's main presenter, Kwain Bryant from Empowerment Exchange of Charlotte, will return this year, with his staff assisting with the breakout sessions.

There is also the possibility of offering a parent session, Ms. Floyd said, as well as a community project to take the students beyond the one-day event.

"We want to have the community project idea to promote messages from this to other teens in the community, get young people involved with the community and to be able to give back," she said.

The public can also get involved by donating prizes and money to defray some of the expenses. The Health Department has committed to back the project, but help from businesses and individuals will also be appreciated, she said.

"Even chipping in to offset the cost of lunch would be helpful," Ms. Floyd said.

For more information, contact Ms. Floyd or Kristal Jones at 731-6932.