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The Vivian Smith Teen Parenting Program helps teen parents to become self-sufficient citizens and effective parents by providing developmentally appropriate child care and a comprehensive network of support services, which enable each teen to attend school full time and to prepare for life-long learning and the world of work.
The program has two equally important objectives: to assist young parents in becoming independent citizens and effective parents, and to provide their babies with a healthy start in life. Our objectives are accomplished by providing developmentally appropriate day care for the infants and toddlers of young mothers who need this care in order to attend high school, with the network of support services which enable the young parents to participate. We operate a licensed family daycare home at our facility at 4717 Central Avenue. The daycare is staffed with a combination of professional child care workers and volunteers. An occupational therapist donates a considerable amount of time in evaluating and monitoring each baby's developmental progress, and in educating the parents and staff about child development. Since 1989 the program has served 12-16 families each school year. Participants are selected on the basis of: grades, academic history and academic ability * personal motivation family support willingness to meet program requirements * poor grades due to pregnancy related health problems or lack of child care do not necessarily exclude a teen from participation. They are expected to: maintain acceptable grades maintain 85% attendance exhibit appropriate behavior, both at school and at the program avoid having more children until they are able to support themselves The support services include: daily transportation parenting education health education counseling tutoring other resources tailored to the individual needs of the participant Without these services, most of the participants would either have to drop out of school or their parent(s) would have to quit work to care for the baby while the teen attended school. We have two program sites: one on the north side at 4717 Central Avenue (283-4666) and a new site on the west side at 2835 N. Tibbs Avenue (924-4666).
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