Despite the closure of school building due to COVID 19, youth development remains committed to providing nationally recognized teen pregnancy prevention programming. At the end of March, both Toledo and Lima YDD began to reach out to 6th 7th, 8th and health teachers that were scheduled for April and May programming. Several expressed interest in having our staff put together physical and digital packets of Draw the Line (DTL) and Reducing the Risk (RTR) curriculum adapted for learning at home. We have been able to send curriculum to 6 schools in Lucas, Allen, and Auglaize County. We have been in touch with our contacts within the TPS administration, and they remain committed to having DTL and RTR in the fall. It is likely that we will be utilizing an interactive video format through Google Classroom to bring this important programming to students even if they are doing remote learning at that time.
The Teen Outreach Program (TOP) was highly engaged in virtual programming for the month of April. By being flexible and versatile, we have been able to offer support and programming to nearly 100 TOP teens between our Toledo and Allen County clubs this month. TOP facilitators have successfully converted their normal in-person programming to delivering the TOP program components primarily through social media. TOP facilitators are choosing lessons that their individual groups need the most this past month. Lessons have included managing emotions, ways to manage stress, life skills and stereotypes. We are excited to continue the TOP program through the summer for any high school or recent graduate in Lucas and Allen Counties with social support, enrichment activities, virtual service projects and life skills.
Despite the serious struggles for teens whose lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic, some of our TOP teens have still been able to devote time to complete community service projects. This month, TOP teens have written messages of encouragement or thanks to staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital; two teens participated in a Youth Advocacy Alliance Meeting sharing their challenges with remote learning and applying to college; one TOP group sent pictures with positive messages to their facilitator who will compile them into a slideshow for social media; and a few teens created a TikTok video promoting consent for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
As you know, seniors have been heavily impacted by the COVID restrictions as you can well imagine, missing their final sports seasons, proms, breakfasts, and graduation itself. We are doing Senior Spotlights of each TOP senior with pictures and music and posting on all TOP social media sites. We will also be doing a slide show of all the TOP seniors. In addition, we are planning a “Car Parade” to recognize the seniors by driving by their houses with posters, music and horns to celebrate their accomplishment and time with us in TOP.