Florida’s Hernando County To Start Teen Mentor Program for Sex Education
Hernando County, Florida, plans to begin a teen mentor program to teach teens about pregnancy and STD prevention, "refusal skills" and reproductive health, the St. Petersburg Times reports. According to Mary Benedett, adolescent health education specialist for the Hernando County Health Department, the "Resource Teen" program will be modeled after the "Students Working Against Tobacco" program. Under the "Resource Teen" program, teenagers will be trained as peer educators and go into the community to offer other teens "specific information" on sexual activity and its possible outcomes. "We have had some surveys. ... A lot of kids have expressed interest in either being a peer educator or having a peer educator be made available to them. Kids listen to other kids when they won't listen to adults," Benedett said. She added that the "just say no" effort has become the "here's why you should be careful" effort. In 2001, 13.2% of live births in Hernando County were to teenagers, up from 12.4% in 2000, according to the state Department of Health (Solochek, St. Petersburg Times, 1/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.