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News Archive

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Local Teens Focus on Pregnancy Prevention

Two Pleasantville High School students wear 'Empathy Bellies' as part of National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Two Pleasantville High School students wear 'Empathy Bellies' as part of National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Three "expectant" male students from Pleasantville High School were among those who recently experienced the challenges of pregnancy during the May 7 observance of National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

As part of a program sponsored by the Pleasantville Partnership for Healthy Adolescents, several high school students spent the day wearing "Empathy Bellies" – weighted, apron-like devices that simulate the effects of pregnancy.

"Our goal was to give students a first-hand glimpse at some of the challenges that pregnant and parenting teens experience everyday," explained Jesse Edmonds, Coordinator of the Pleasantville Partnership for Healthy Adolescents.

Students also learned about the importance of building strong friendships before pursuing physical relationships during a discussion led by Peggy Jo Klein of Crisis Pregnancy Services in Egg Harbor City. In addition, the Pleasantville students joined teens from around the country during an interactive, Web-based quiz that consisted of role-playing exercises designed to help teens avoid the common pitfalls of peer pressure, underage drinking and gossip.

"Today's teens are tomorrow's leaders," commented Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson. "We are proud of the great work the Pleasantville Partnership for Healthy Adolescents is doing to protect and promote safe and healthy lifestyles for the youth of our county."

Since its inception in January 2000, the Pleasantville Partnership for Healthy Adolescents has been working to combine the resources and experience of key community groups to make Pleasantville a safer, healthier home for all its residents.

Partnership members include 27 local agencies representing the fields of education, health, social services, public safety and recreation.

For more information about the Pleasantville Partnership for Healthy Adolescents, call 609-645-7700 ext. 4276.

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