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Jul 31, 2013 09:18 AM EDT

ISU Sex Education Program Wins National Award for Teen Pregnancy Awareness

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'Parenting: It's a Life' an Iowa State University's (ISU) sex education program will be conferred with a national award at the National Child Support Enforcement Association's annual conference August 5 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The program will be presented with the 2013 excellence award for its increased awareness, effective media relations and public outreach campaigns about the financial struggles involved with teen pregnancy. The association has also praised the program for reaching out to more teachers and students with a website and a Facebook page.

 'Parenting: It's a Life' is a collaboration between Iowa State University's human development and family studies department, the Iowa Department of Human Services Child Support Recovery Unit, and the Iowa Attorney General's office.

The traditional sex education program covers reproductive biology, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.

"Our angle is to talk more about the financial realities," said Kate Goudy-Haht, Program coordinator. "We don't promote any type of method that we think students should use...more of, if they choose to be sexually active, there's that chance they will have pregnancy and then what would happen afterwards. So, we really give them the financial realities of being a teen parent."

The program won accolades for distributing informational posters to every high school and middle school in Iowa and its collaboration with state child support agencies and other groups.

"We've also created a monthly e-newsletter that goes to over 1,000 contacts, most of them being family consumer science teachers, counselors, and health teachers in the middle schools and high schools across Iowa," Goudy-Haht said.

'Parenting: It's a Life' is one of the several sex education programs from the Child Welfare Research and Training Project at ISU. In 2012, the project worked with approximately 800 agencies, 3,500 employees, and 200,000 cases.

 "About 40-percent of teen parents and their children live in poverty. The cost of raising a child up to the age of 18 is over $100,000. Those are some of the financial realities that I don't think they're aware of," Goudy-Haht said.

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