ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It is national day to prevent teen pregnancy.
Although Teen pregnancy is down in many counties, advocates say more needs to be done.
Although there are resources available to prevent teen pregnancy, teen advocacy groups say it takes an entire community to make a difference.
At this luncheon today, leaders of local agencies talked about the need to promote reproductive responsibility, preparing for it and preventing it.
Dr. Keisha Callins says "I think access is still an issue that's number one but also just looking at people being empowered to make better choices.
I think that's where we are falling short it's not enough to say don't get pregnant."
Dr. Callins says families should be proactive. parents and grandparents stepping in after a pregnancy to take care of the children means teen parents don't shoulder the responsibility and end up with multiple pregnancies.
Dr. Callins says "I want them to be there before they get pregnant I want them to show up and make sure they dont get pregnant unless they're ready to do so."
Sex education has been taken out of many schools across the country.
Area schools are changing that with the help of local health organizations.
Debra Willingham says "We offer through that program both abstinence education and information about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases."
Willingham says many times parents are involved when the children are young but step back in their adolescence.
She says "It's the teenager who really needs the parental guidance so we'd like to see more parents involved."
Prep is an 8 week sex education and healthy relationship program for adolescents ages 13 to 18..
The new session starts May 30th.
Willingham says "We teach young people how to have healthy relationships not just with their boyfriends but with their friends and their family members."
Debra Willingham says students who finish prep will be eligible for a gift card.
Prep begins May 30th. Meetings are every Saturday from 10 am to 1pm for 8 weeks at 701 West Society in Albany. Series tickets can be purchased the night of the first class on May 30th.
TOP is a 9 month sex education class that includes series on relationships, communication, goal setting, human development and much more.
The program also includes community service outreach.
Debra Willingham says helping other enriches the lives of young people giving them a sense of community and self esteem.
You can Call Debra Willingham for questions regarding these programs at 229-430-4130.