A Supportive Pathway to Education for Teen Parents
Healthy Teens has been proud to support the School District of Manatee County’s Teenage Parent Program for a number of years. This wonderful program supports pregnant and parenting teens to complete their high school education while receiving critical information and help to care for their new baby. It is a privilege to help support these young women, and men, as they seek to ensure the best possible future for their family.
The CDC estimates that only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by the age of 22. Parenthood is a significant responsibility that requires a lot of time and effort, especially for teenagers who are still in school. It is difficult to balance the obligations of parenthood with the pursuit of education, but it’s crucial for teen parents to complete high school and receive a diploma in order to create a brighter future for both themselves and their kids. The Teenage Parenting Program (TAPP), offered by the School District of Manatee County, provides a supportive pathway to education for teen parents, enabling them to complete their high school education while receiving additional support.
TAPP is a program designed specifically for teen parents in Manatee County, Florida. The program offers a range of services to help teen parents balance their responsibilities while pursuing their education. One significant benefit of TAPP is the on-campus daycare that provides a safe and nurturing environment for children while their parents attend classes. This daycare facility allows parents to focus on their studies without worrying about their children’s safety and wellbeing.
The virtual classes offered by TAPP give students the flexibility to work at their own speed. Teen parents who may need to balance their education with childcare responsibilities will find this option to be especially helpful. Students can mix online schooling with their other duties because they can access their courses from any location with an internet connection.
Healthy Teens provides health education sessions at TAPP every other week during the school semester. We are incredibly thankful for the community partners that help us provide the students with the support they need to make positive, healthy decisions for themselves and their babies. This semester TAPP our topics and guests have included:
- Ally Bergmann from North River Prevention Partners (Addiction and the Teen Brain).
- Jenn Venuto and Susan Makowski from the Hanley Foundation (Alcohol Literacy Challenge and Prescription Drug Abuse presentations).
- A lactation consultant presented on breastfeeding
- An ultrasound technologist shared about infant sleep patterns, safe sleep and tummy time
On Valentine’s Day 2023, Ethan Weiss from Telement Telement presented a special presentation called “Taking Care”. This thoughtful session helped teens have an open space where they could share their parenting experiences and see others in the room relate to them.
Students had the opportunity to reflect on their parenting values, traits, and characteristics. Learning outcomes included:
- Knowing what we value can help us parent with purpose.
- We teach our kids how to manage their feelings by how we manage ours
- Knowing when, where, and how to ask for support helps us show up better for our kids.
Some of the discussion questions included: “If you were to travel 20 years into the future and meet someone who knows your kid very well, how do you want them to describe your adult kid?” and “If you were to travel 20 years into the future and ask your adult kid about their parents, how do you want them to describe you?”
To learn more about TAPP visit their website – https://www.manateeschools.net/Page/5820