Sue Scheff: Help Prevent Teen Pregnancy




May 6, 2009 is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. How do you score? Take the National Day Quiz and find out.
Hundreds of thousands of teens nationwide are expected to participate in the eighth annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy on May 6, 2009. The purpose of the National Day is straightforward. Too many teens still think “It can’t happen to me.” The National Day helps teens understand that it can happen to them and that they need to think seriously about what they would do in the moment.

Why a National Day? Since the early 1990s, the teen pregnancy rate has declined 38 percent and the teen birth rate has declined 32%. In fact, few social problems have improved quite as dramatically over the past decade plus. The most recent news on this front, however, has not been positive. According to data released in March 2009 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the U.S. teen birth rate increased for the second year in a row since 2005. These increases follow 14 years of continuous decline in the teen birth rate. That is, after declining 34% between 1991 and 2005, the teen birth rate has now increased 5% between 2005 and 2007.

“Clearly a renewed focus on preventing teen pregnancy is needed,” said Sarah Brown, Chief Executive Officer of The National Campaign. “We hope that – in some modest way – the quiz will help teens think carefully about sex and contraception, the possibility of pregnancy, and the lifelong challenges of being a parent.”
About the National Day. On the National Day and throughout May, teens nationwide will be asked to go to The National Campaign’s teen website—StayTeen.org —and take a short, scenario-based quiz (available in English and Spanish). The quiz challenges young people to consider what they would do in a number of sexual situations.

In 2008, more than 300,000 people took the National Day Quiz—up from 75,000 in 2002. Participants were able to take the quiz online or download a print version in English or Spanish. National Day Quiz discussion guides for parents and teens were also available and were downloaded thousands of times.

Over 1,000 teens who took the National Day Quiz took part in a post-quiz evaluation survey. Among the findings:

73% said the Quiz made them think about what they might do in such situations;
54% said the Quiz made the risks of sex and teen pregnancy seem more real to them;
50% said they’d learned something new from the Quiz about the consequences of sex;
55% said they’d talk to their friends about the situations described in the Quiz;
51% said the Quiz made them think about things they hadn’t thought about before;
54% said they’d encourage others to take the Quiz;
57% said some of the situations in the Quiz were things that they or their friends had faced; and
48% said they’d talk to their parents or other adults about the situations described in the Quiz.
Additionally, 56% reported taking the quiz as part of a school activity and 31% said they took the quiz at home. About one-third of teens (32%) learned about the quiz from a parent, teacher, or another trusted adult and another one-third (30%) of teens learned about the quiz from one of our online media partners.

Partnerships. The National Campaign works with a variety of partners to make the National Day a success year after year.

National Partnerships. National Day partners include a diverse group of media outlets, health sector leaders, education leaders, businesses, youth-serving groups, groups representing elected officials, fatherhood and male involvement groups, faith-based groups, and other prominent national organizations. These groups promote the National Day to their members, affiliates, customers, audiences, and contacts in ways the National Campaign could never have afforded or accomplished on its own. For an up-to-date list of this year’s National Day Partners, visit our Partners page.

Media Partnerships. Each year, The National Campaign works with a variety of online and traditional media partners to spread the word about the National Day. Among this year’s partners are ABC, ABC Family, NBC, The N, Seventeen, CWtv.com, Maury, and many others. For more information about our National Day media partnerships, visit our Media Partners page.

State and Local Partnerships. The National Day continues to be a remarkable organizing event for states and communities nationwide. To help these state and local promotional efforts, the National Campaign develops and distributes a variety of teen-friendly materials—such as National Day wristbands and pens—to help raise awareness of the National Day among teens and adult professionals who work with teens. For a state-by-state breakdown of National Day activities, please visit our What’s Happening in 2009? section. If you are planning a 2009 National Day event, please tell us about it.

Outside information:
More information about teen pregnancy.
HIV Testing for Teens.
Teen Pregnancy Website


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