Newsletter: May 2009

Building Healthy Relationship Skills Newsletter – May 2009

  • National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is May 6
  • Teen pregnancy update
  • May is Prom Safety Month
  • News from the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center
  • Dibble Institute Training Calendar

Dear Friends,Few decisions have a greater negative impact on adult outcomes for teens than an unplanned teen pregnancy. Yet, statistics show that despite years of programs aimed at reducing teen pregnancy, it actually increased between 2005 and 2007 – this is a war we are not winning. But we know – from our research and others’ – how it can be done!The key is to use holistic approaches: teach developmentally appropriate relationship skills along with sex education.Time Magazine highlighted this critical piece of the puzzle in a March article:

“We now have a pretty good sense of which sex-education approaches work. Substantial research–including a 2007 Bush Administration report–has concluded that comprehensive programs are most effective at changing teen sexual behaviors. They are also largely uncontroversial outside Washington.What we haven’t seen is the political will and community investment necessary to educate kids about sexuality and healthy relationships in a truly responsible and honest way.”

Start or increase your investment now:

  1. Participate in The National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy – read how below.
  2. Read and share the complete Time article above. It includes an inspiring story of an at-risk teen who beat the odds to become the first member of her family to make it to sixteen without becoming pregnant or making someone else pregnant.
  3. Learn the human and economic costs of teen pregnancy and use them to advocate for relationship skills programs in your area. For help starting a program, contact us at The Dibble Institute. This is a battle we can win!

Onward!Kay Reed,Executive Director

May 6, 2009 is National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy!Encourage your teens on the National Day and throughout May to go to The National Campaign’s teen website and take a short, scenario-based quiz (available in English and Spanish). The quiz challenges young people with relationship questions. Tell your teens to stay tuned to for the quiz. Accompanying teen and parent discussion guides can be downloaded and distributed.

Teen pregnancy updateIt’s not easy to compete for teen attention about the consequences of unplanned pregnancy with the media glamorizing unwed celebrity births. But a recent Child Trends Research Brief provides a statistical picture of how if plays out in real life. “Ten Reasons to Still Keep the Focus on Teen Childbearing” breaks down the human and economic costs of unplanned teen pregnancy using current data.We recommend bringing statistics to life for teens by putting them in social and cultural context. For example, unplanned pregnancy is a more compelling issue to teens when consequences like these are considered:

  • The impact of unwed childbearing on the CHILD
  • Emotional/social consequences of casual sex
  • The ease with which teen fathers can be sidelined from involvement with their child
  • Child support payment issues

We also strongly recommend considering teen social and cultural environments when planning teen pregnancy prevention programs.

May is Prom Safety MonthFor some great teen tips about how to enjoy a prom while exercising good judgment based on healthy relationship skills, read this current tip sheet from the CDC and pass it along!

New survey from the National Healthy Marriage Resource CenterA new survey by The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center finds that 82% of young adults in the 18 – 30 age group plan to marry and stay married for life. However, given the fact that an estimated 40% of first marriages end in divorce, the NHMRC is launching a public education campaign on marriage that includes an interactive website,, to provide direct access to relationship resources.For a terrific, detailed discussion of this issue, which includes an interview with Kay Reed read “Tying the knot” by Kealy Jaynes, an excellent special report in The Granite Bay Gazette. The Gazette is the award-winning student newspaper of Granite Bay High School.

The Dibble Institute Training CalendarJune 6Wyoming Family Consumer Science Pre-ConferenceWestern Wyoming Community CollegeRock Springs, WYMichelle AldrichWhy Buy the Cow? and Love U2®: Baby Smarts Trainer: Joyce HuffJuly 7 – 8Smart Marriages 13th Annual ConferenceShingle Creek Resort HotelOrlando, FL

School & Youth Marriage Education Programs, Kay Reed, chairFirst Comes Love – Institute Training – More Info!CLICK FOR FLYER to post in your community or send to your email list.CONNECTIONS – Char Kamper, MALove U2® – Marline Pearson, MAWe have to start with the kids! Get trained research-based programs; teach students the skills and knowledge that are central to building and maintaining healthy marriages. Curricula are easily adapted to classroom, church, agency, and youth group settings. Each of these programs meets the Federal criteria for youth relationship education. Click for more information on the three training options.

June 16-19South Caroline Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Summer InstituteEmbassy Suites Airport/Convention CenterCharleston, SCLove Smarts for Young Parents – New Pathways to PreventionLoving Safe, Loving Smart: Healthy Relationship Skills for Young ParentsWorkshop presenter: Marline PearsonNeed a Speaker?The Dibble Institute can customize a keynote, plenary, or workshop to meet the individual needs of your organization. Our presentations are interactive, high-paced and exciting!Simply let us know what you are trying to accomplish and we will do our best to get you there.For more information, please contact Irene Varley, Director of Education, at 941-360-1859 (M-F, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Eastern Time).

The Dibble Institute, a 501c3 non-profit organization, is dedicated to promoting healthy relationships and helping teens make wise choices! All of our materials are free of political or religious bias. Visit our Website & Catalog, or call 1-800-695-7975.Our research based, best practice, developmentally appropriate programs – being taught across the country – teach students the skills and knowledge that are central to building and maintaining healthy romances and, eventually, marriages. Curricula are easily adapted to classroom, church, community, agency and youth group settings and are appropriate for Family and Consumer Science, career prep and English teachers; youth agency workers; independent living coordinators; abstinence and teen pregnancy prevention workers; camp and after school program staff; Healthy Marriage, CBAE, and Head Start grantees; youth pastors; social workers; and parents. Our activities are funded through sales of educational materials and services and through support from foundations, corporations and individuals.©2009 The Dibble Institute – Phone: 1-800-695-7975