WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — There are several programs that focus on adolescent girls to prevent teen pregnancy, but there’s a program in Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools that focuses on reaching boys.
Wise Guys is a male-oriented teen pregnancy prevention program provided by Children’s Home Society of North Carolina.
“We are interested to know their understanding of sexuality, their involvement, contraception use, and just trying to inform, educate, empower so that when they come up against those decisions, they'll be as informed as possible to make the healthiest and best decisions for them according to their values,” health educator Tony Casas said.
WSFCS teacher, Kishon Bishop, says the program adds a lot of value to Walkertown Middle School’s health and physical education curriculum.
“We really get a chance to hear the boys come out of their shell and say, ‘You know what? I actually don't believe in that, but I really never spoke up because it was a quote-unquote expectation,’” Bishop said.
Wise Guys is in schools because of a $15,000 grant from The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem, which is a strategic initiative of the Winston-Salem Foundation.
This grant allows the program to operate in about four to five Winston-Salem Forsyth County schools at no cost to the school district.
“For us, I think it's a huge benefit. We could never afford that type of investment in someone who specializes in reproductive health alone without these partnerships,” Sara Harmon, Healthful Living Program Manager for Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools, said.
WSFCS hopes to expand the program to more schools in the future.