Despite historic declines in the rates of teen pregnancy and births in the United States and a 5 percent reduction in the teen pregnancy rate in North Carolina, the U.S. teen birth rate is still higher than that of many other developed countries.

In order to focus attention on all the progress that has been made and spotlight how much work is yet to be done, the Jackson County Department of Public Health joins organizations across the country in recognizing May as Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.

During May and throughout the year, JCDPH knows that teen pregnancy is critical and impacts both individuals and the community as a whole. To better equip Jackson County teens with the knowledge, skills and support that they need to prevent a pregnancy, JCDPH offers the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program (AP3) in partnership with Jackson County Public Schools. Through this program, students are taught the confidence and skills necessary to reduce their risk of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and pregnancy by abstaining from sex or using condoms if they choose to have sex.

“The goal of our program is to protect and empower our youth. Through the knowledge and life skills the AP3 Program provides, we desire for students to obtain an understanding of responsibility and confidence towards healthy decision-making for overall wellness and success,” said Katie Hutchinson, AP3 coordinator.

For questions about AP3 or the curriculum taught, contact Hutchinson or Curt Collins at 587-8292 or 587-8252, respectively.