Two checks totaling $24,000 were handed over Friday to begin the Coalition Concerned With Adolescent Pregnancy's first corporate-supported program to prevent unplanned teen-age pregnancies in Orange County.
The checks were presented by Jeff Sherman, president of Armor All Products, who was representing the McKesson Foundation, and Tony Zarifis and Daryl Carlson, store directors for Mervyn's Department Stores.
They will finance the first of a two-part educational program aimed at 10- to 15-year-olds. Called Community Action for Parents and Young Adolescents, the project will train 30 professionals experienced in working with teen-agers and their families to teach a curriculum developed by the Center for Early Adolescence, a nationally recognized training center based at the University of North Carolina. Participants will in turn hold workshops for an estimated 500 parents in Orange County.
The curriculum focuses on adolescent development, sexuality, communication skills and risk-taking behavior. Part two of the project will develop after-school programs for teen-agers.
CCAP, a 6-year-old information and education project, estimates that there are 6,000 unintended teen-age pregnancies in Orange County every year.
It is a challenge to develop family life programs to prevent these pregnancies, Gwenda Watson, CCAP founding board member, told the two dozen educators, government officials and youth agency workers at the luncheon. While most parents want their children to receive sex education, they also find it difficult to talk about values to their children, she said.
To apply for the April training sessions, contact the Coalition Concerned with Adolescent Pregnancy, 1440 East 1st St., Suite 309, Santa Ana 92701. For more information, call (714) 972-4859.