The Tennessee Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program Visit disclaimer page (TAPPP), funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau’s (FYSB) Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program (APP), successfully provides abstinence education to middle school children (ages 10-14) in multiple settings. TAPPP serves high risk youth in community-based organizations, faith-based institutions, and rural and geographically underserved areas. According to Kimothy Warren, the TAPP Program Director, the program provides abstinence education and community-based awareness activities in 16 counties with the highest rates of teen pregnancy, STDs, and poverty.
TAPPP has developed creative ways to teach youth about the importance of their life choices in schools and community centers throughout Tennessee. One novel approach is the “Teen Life Maze” activity. This activity requires youth to make an initial life choice from a list of risky behaviors (e.g., having sex/getting pregnant or contracting an STI, texting and driving, drinking or bullying). Once a life choice is made, the youth “journeys” through a maze of stations to learn about potential consequences of their choice and how they can deal with the choice throughout their life. Next steps may include going to a pregnancy clinic, hospital, court, college or the military. Youth complete an evaluation after the activity to assess how much they learned from the experience. Six community organizations across the state of Tennessee currently host the Life Maze activity.
As part of its community engagement focus, TAPP program youth also participate in 10 hours of community service activities. These activities are designed to encourage community engagement, promote self-sufficiency, and foster positive youth development. Activities may range from stuffing police/fireman appreciation bags, decorating community nursing homes to writing Veteran’s day letters and making holiday cards for soldiers.